Cyril Ramaphosa leaves London as protests erupt in South Africa
Violent clashes have broken out against an ANC leader in South Africa’s North West Province
South African president Cyril Ramaphosa has left the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London early, due to violent protests in his country.
Protesters clashed with police after shops were looted and vehicles were set on fire in Mahikeng, capital of North West Province.
They are calling for the “resignation of provincial Premier Supra Mahumapelo - a member of Mr Ramaphosa’s governing African National Congress (ANC)” the BBC reports.
A South African police unit known as The Hawks have raided Mahumapelo’s offices, with allegations of maladministration, fraud and corruption amounting to about 160 million rand (£9.5 million), Bloomberg reports.
Mahumapelo has denied the allegations, and has called the protests “an anti-Supra Mahumapelo political campaign which seeks to intimidate residents of Mahikeng”.
South Africa’s Independent Online says protesters are using stones as weapons, and police are responding with tear gas and rubber bullets in an attempt to break up the protest.
Ramaphosa, who took office in February, called for “calm and adherence to the rule of law of the province”, while urging police to “exercise maximum restraint in execution of their duties”.
He had been in London to “assure global investors of his determination to tackle corruption in his country and restore faith in its public institutions”, says The New York Times.