South African capital tense after overnight riots in ruling party dispute

By REUTERS
June 22, 2016 12:29

 
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PRETORIA - South Africa's capital was tense on Wednesday after residents torched buses and looted shops overnight, police said, in clashes sparked by the ruling party's choice of a mayoral candidate for local polls.

Africa's most industrialized country will hold local government elections on Aug. 3, in what looks likely to become a referendum on President Jacob Zuma's leadership amid mounting concern over weak economic growth.

Violence flared on Monday night as impoverished residents of Pretoria's townships set light to vehicles after the African National Congress' (ANC) national leadership named a candidate for mayor in the Tshwane municipality where the capital city is located who had not been not nominated by its regional branches.

Police said there was an uneasy calm in the capital on Wednesday. With some roads impassable because of debris and burned-out vehicles from the violence, normal commercial life was disrupted.

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