Death toll from KZN unrest hits 234

Death toll from KZN unrest hits 234

The death toll from the looting and violence in KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng last week has climbed to 276.

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"Since the unrests, a total of 234 deaths as a related to the unrests were reported in KZN," Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said.

"To date and of these reported deaths, the SAPS are investigating 151 cases for murder and 83 inquests dockets have been opened and 15 arrests related to the cases of murder."

Ntshavheni on Wednesday briefed the country on government's recovery efforts following the riots. 

She says those suspected of inciting public violence are being arrested and charged. 

Four people have made court appearances. 

READ: Committees to call for parliamentary inquiry into unrest, police response

"To date, the following suspects have been arrested and appeared in court: Bruce Nimmerhoudt, Sibusiso Mavuso, Clarence Tabane, and Ngizwe Mchunu. 

"The four suspects have been remanded in custody in Gauteng for bail application and the National Prosecution Authority will comment further on the details of the prosecution. One person who was arrested was released by the court and the SAPS are undertaking further investigations." 

She says they're aware of threats made against foreign truck drivers and remain on high alert for a possible resurgence of attacks. 

"Our law enforcement agencies are also investigating the possible mobilization of South Africans to attack the foreign truck drivers and a special team of detectives are investigating the threats against foreign truck drivers. It must be clarified that this problem is not emanating from the unrests, but it is related to challenges within the sector."

Ntshavheni says 20 Sassa offices and 21 post offices in KZN had to close after they were vandalised and torched. 

"These offices are not offering social services and beneficiaries have been advised to use ATM and shops to access their social grants. Furthermore, SASSA grants that were earmarked to be paid on 20 July have been postponed to a later date."

READ: More officials deployed to guard supply trucks: Ntshavheni

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