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Moscow expects South African authorities to normalize the situation, spokeswoman says

Also, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova added that Russia regretted numerous casualties among the civilians

MOSCOW, July 22. /TASS/. Moscow expects that South African authorities will manage to normalize the situation in the country and get it back within the constitutional framework, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a briefing on Thursday.

"We are aware of the domestic political situation in South Africa in connection with mass unrest triggered by the arrest of the former president of the country, Jacob Zuma," she said. "We expect that owing to the consistent steps taken by the South African authorities, they will manage to normalize the situation and bring it back within the constitutional framework," the diplomat added.

Russia regrets numerous casualties among the civilians, she said, adding that over 200 people have been killed as a result of unrest in certain regions of the country. "We believe that the deep social-economic problems, some of which worsened due to the spread of the novel coronavirus infection, were among the shaping factors for these developments," Zakharova went on to say.

On July 8, supporters of Jacob Zuma, the former head of state imprisoned that day, began blocking main roads in KwaZulu-Natal province. They declared the launch of the Free Zuma campaign in order to obtain his quick release and urged the residents of the province to join their protest rallies. Demonstrations everywhere turned violent. On July 10, the looting spread to Gauteng province, where Johannesburg and Pretoria are located. Other parts of the country remained calm.