EFEBy Nerea González Johannesburg

“It was a traumatic, full-on terror kind of experience”. That is how Durban resident Surav Jimmi remembers the wave of violent riots that swept the country in July, leaving 354 people dead. Like many South Africans, Jimmi is now applying for a gun license because he sees no other way to guarantee his personal safety.

"It was a week full of no sleep, standing off in the community, seeing people getting shot at, us getting shot at, it's a traumatic experience,” the musician and entrepreneur tells Efe from the shooting range in the eastern city of Durban, the worst hit by the violence.

“I'll have peace of mind within myself because I can say to myself that if these guys are coming to attack us with firearms, I am armed and ready to fight back as well,” he adds.

Compared by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to the unrest surrounding the dismantling of the racist "apartheid" system in the 1990s, the wave of violence that South Africa experienced at the beginning of July not only left deaths and losses in the millions ($3.5 billion, according to the government).