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DURBAN, South Africa — The sense of shock was palpable as a handful of residents stared at a shopping center in ruins.

Windows were smashed, the parking lot was filled with debris, and “Free Zuma” was spray-painted on the facade of The Ridge, a once-pristine center that sits on Shallcross Road, a major thoroughfare in Durban, a city of 600,000 people on the eastern coast of South Africa.

“Things can be recovered … but there is an impact in the community,” said Richard Ncube, 40, a former police officer whose cellphone repair stand looking out at The Ridge was also burgled in violence that convulsed the country in the wake of former President Jacob Zuma’s detention on charges of contempt of court last this month during his separate corruption trial.

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