Under South African law, murder carries a minimum sentence of 15 years for first-time offenders. But courts may deviate from this if they find ‘substantial and compelling circumstances’ to do so.
The past decade has shown a strong connection between political protests and the looting of foreign-owned shops in South Africa. Research shows that local leaders use protests to maintain their power.
Some of the factors behind the riots by ANC supporters in Tshwane are not new. They include gripes within the governing party about its process for choosing mayors and divisions over Jacob Zuma.
The increase in rioting ahead of municipal elections in South Africa, such as that in Pretoria, suggests that the country's general election in 2019 could be more violent than previous elections.