Civil unrest death toll in KZN, Gauteng rises to 276
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The government has announced that the police are investigating 168 murder cases and opened 108 inquest dockets following the deaths of 276 people during the violent protests and looting after former president Jacob Zuma was jailed.
Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni on Wednesday revealed that since the unrest, a total of 234 related deaths were reported in KwaZulu-Natal and another 42 in Gauteng.
She said the SAPS was investigating 151 murder cases in KwaZulu-Natal and opened 83 inquest dockets.
According to Ntshavheni, 15 arrests relating to the murder cases have been made.
In Gauteng, the SAPS are investigating 17 murder cases and have opened 25 inquest dockets, but no arrests have been made.
”Stability continues to reign in both Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. Law enforcement agencies are conducting mop-up operations to ensure that opportunistic and copycat activities do not find traction,” she said.
“In addition to the arrest of persons linked to the public violence and their appearances in various courts, law enforcement agencies continue to arrest persons linked to the incitement of public violence.”
Ntshavheni said that to date four suspects have been arrested and appeared in court, including Bruce Nimmerhoudt, a Patriotic Alliance mayoral candidate in the West Rand District Municipality; Sibusiso Mavuso; Clarence Dabane; and former Ukhozi FM and SABC presenter Ngizwe Mchunu.
”All have been remanded in custody in Gauteng for bail applications. One person who was arrested was released by the court and the SAPS is undertaking further investigations. Another suspect was granted bail by the court,” said Ntshavheni.
She said the Department of Basic Education was proceeding with plans to reopen schools despite 143 having been vandalised and looted during the unrest.
Ntshavheni said 139 of these schools are in KwaZulu-Natal while another four are in Gauteng, and that equipment and food meant for the school nutrition programme was stolen.
”This means these schools will be unable to provide the school nutrition programme to vulnerable learners,” she added.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga will brief the nation on the preparedness for the reopening of schools on Sunday.
The Department of Health is finalising the assessment report on the extent of the impact of the recent violence in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal on the vaccination roll-out programme and general access to health services.
The acting Health minister will present a comprehensive update on Friday.