Death Toll

Photo: SAPS

DEATH TOLL: 117 people have died in the unrest in KZN and Gauteng

The death toll has gone up to 117 since the start of the unrest in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, while 2 203 arrests have been made.

Death Toll

Photo: SAPS

The death toll has risen to 117 in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng because of the violent protests, looting, and public violence that gripped the provinces since former President Jacob Zuma was imprisoned last week.


Acting Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said in a statement on Thursday evening that police have reported 26 deaths cumulatively in Gauteng related to violence.

“To date, the police have received reports of 26 deaths cumulatively in Gauteng related to the violence, however, six bodies were discovered on the roof of Thembisa South mall in Thembisa, and an inquest has been opened.”

Ntshavheni said the situation in KwaZulu-Natal remains volatile but much improved towards stability.

“Reported deaths that have been verified as linked to the violence are cumulatively 91 in KwaZulu-Natal. “

She said a total of 2 203 arrests have been made in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

“In KwaZulu-Natal, 39 incidents have been reported and 392 additional arrests which cumulatively arrests are 1478.”

While in Gauteng, police arrested 139 additional with a cumulative total of 725 arrests.

She said members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and the South African Police Service (SAPS) have been deployed to Phoenix in Durban following reports of racial tensions.

“Members of the SANDF and the SAPS have been deployed in the area to restore law and order in the area.

“We call all South Africans involved in the altercations to bridge the racial barriers and work together towards a common goal of protecting South Africa.”

Ntshavheni added that Ministers visited the area and engaged with various stakeholders to resolve racial tensions.

“The Provincial Commissioners of the police have, in the meantime, activated the police social crime prevention strategy and have been engaging with various stakeholders including community-based organisations, traditional leaders, and the business community in order to amplify current operational plans to best tackle the looting and destruction of property currently prevalent in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng Provinces.”

According to her, the Government would like to commend the collaboration between the police and community through established platforms such as Community Policing Forums and Community in Blue.

“We also note that there are reports of some armed community members brandishing firearms and/or dangerous weapons publicly in apparent retaliation against perpetrators of the public violence.

“The government would like to caution the public that although persons are entitled to protect their property and lives, as long as this is done in a manner that everyone’s right to life is protected as provided for in our Constitution; and can only be infringed in extremely limited circumstances, in order to, inter alia, protect the life or bodily integrity of the defender.

“We don’t want a situation where members of the public are at logger-heads with the law after such a noble effort.”

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