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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

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LIVE UPDATES: #RebuildSA – Unrest continues in KZN, critical supplies transported in armed police convoys

Picture: Reuters

Picture: Reuters

Published Jul 16, 2021


Unrest has continued in KZN, with the Isipingo market looted and torched, fires set in Greytown and the Eston Sugar Mill also coming under threat of being razed. Meanwhile, food, fuel and other critical supplies bound for KwaZulu-Natal are being transported in heavily armed police convoys.


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  • 2pm

VOW TO CRACK DOWN: Gauteng Premier David Makhura has warned that some of the people who looted ATMs at various malls in the province are well trained and do so using heavy artillery. Read more here

  • 1.36pm

TREASON CHARGES LOOM: The DA will lay charges of treason and terrorism against the instigators of the unrest that led to widespread looting and destruction in KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng.

The DA said in a statement on Friday it had seen WhatsApp chats between individuals who have identified themselves as being part of a number of ANC branches in KZN, whose messages appear to indicate their intentions to destabilise and remove the current government.

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  • 1.31pm

TAKING FLIGHT: Airlines inundated with flight requests to escape Durban for Cape Town. Read more here

  • 1.27pm

DLOMO PERPLEXED: Axed former SSA top spy and ex-SA ambassador to Japan Thulani Dlomo has finally spoken out after he was accused of being one of the 12 people behind fuelling the unrest ravaging KZN and Gauteng.

Speaking from an unknown location, as usual, Dlomo said he was taken aback when the news surfaced and instructed his lawyers to write to Deputy State Security Minister Zizi Kodwa, seeking clarification and evidence. Read more here

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Thulani Dlomo Picture: Supplied
  • 12.59pm

SUSPECT HELD FOR INCITING VIOLENCE: One person, believed to be a mayoral candidate, was arrested on the West Rand on Friday for allegedly inciting violence linked to the looting and unrest in the country through social media. The suspect is not believed to one of the 12 people regarded to be the masterminds.

Police spokesperson Major-General Leon Rabie said: “At 1:15 this morning, an individual was arrested in the West Rand. He was distributing messages, mobilising the communities. This was reported to the South African Police Service.

“In as far as the 12 of concern, three have been prioritised by the DPCI (Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation) and they are currently busy with the processes. The necessary affidavits have been obtained.”

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  • 12.58pm
  • 12.55pm

CYRIL FULL OF REGRET: After visiting a looting site at KwaMashu township in Durban on Friday, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the government regretted that the situation spiralled out of control and admitted that “we could have done better”. WATCH: Read more here

  • 12.48pm
  • 12.29pm

NO BANG FOR BUCK: If looters thought they were making a fast buck breaking down ATMs, they’re in for a surprise. The bank notes are held in special containers that protect cash with dye-stain technology that is activated when someone tries to break open the container. Read more here

  • 12.13pm

DLODLO ON THE DEFENSIVE: State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo, who accompanied President Cyril Ramaphosa on his visit to Durban on Friday, has ’’rejected with the contempt it deserves’’ any suggestions that current members of the State Security Agency are part of the instigators of the unrest in KZN and Gauteng.

  • 11.47am

’MISSED OPPORTUNITY’: Even though it may be seven days too late and after R20 billion in estimated damage, the DA in KZN welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s brief visit to the province on Friday.

What the President has missed is an opportunity to meet and engage with those who have been at the forefront of this unrest, hearing first-hand about how communities were left to defend themselves while the police simply looked on, the DA said.

’’Or he could have heard from our communities how they have rallied together to provide food and care for each other while the government has been slow to react to the growing humanitarian crisis in KZN.’’

Ramaphosa was supposed to head to the Phoenix hot spot, but changed his schedule and rushed back to Gauteng for a cabinet meeting.

  • 11.39am
  • 11.37am

HEALTHCARE FACILITIES AUDIT: The DA will request acting Minister of Health Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane to provide a full audit of the damage to healthcare facilities in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. Particularly, clarity over possible damage to vaccination sites and how it will affect the vaccine rollout.

The South African Pharmacy Council confirmed that it had received reports of more than 90 pharmacies having been completely destroyed in both provinces. It also said Covid-19 vaccines and scheduled medicines were among the looted items.

  • 11.32am

BRUTAL INCIDENT: Armed community members and vigilante groups have stepped in to tackle the unrest plaguing parts of the country for the past week, taking matters into their own hands and sometimes stoking violence as security forces struggle to restore order.

AFP journalists witnessed one particularly brutal incident when dozens of local minibus operators beat up seven township dwellers caught rummaging through the debris of a ransacked mall in south-eastern Johannesburg. WATCH: Read more here

  • 11.21am

AIR POLLUTION FEARS: The South Durban Community Environmental Alliance believes the air pollution from the smoke and fumes after buildings, warehouses and factories were torched in KwaZulu-Natal could pose a lifelong threat to communities.

"The impact is severe, a lot of the warehouses have chemicals in them. A lot of the factories that have burnt Cornubia had chemicals, so that will have a huge impact on your chest and your air path.’’ Read more here on how it has affected marine life

Picture: AFP
  • 10.57am

’DEADLY VIOLENCE PLANNED’: The deadly violence that has rocked South Africa for a week was planned, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Friday. Authorities said they had identified 12 suspects.

"It is quite clear that all these incidents of unrest and looting were instigated, there were people who planned it and coordinated it," he said as he arrived in KwaZulu-Natal province, the epicentre of the unrest.

’’There were suggestions that some instigators were using terms that were ethnic mobilisation. They were using terms such as ’leli Venda leli’, meaning me,’’ said Ramaphosa, while conceding the government got it wrong and that it was not only about ethnic mobilisation.

  • 10.56am

’ACTIONS TREASONOUS’: The Defend Our Democracy Campaign, including representatives of organised business, labour, civil society and faith communities, said in a statement on Friday: ’’Let us be absolutely clear, the responsibility for what is happening lies at the door of the supporters of the former President, including members of his family, who have been blatantly making inflammatory statements, encouraging hooliganism and violence, spreading fake news, and claiming this as ’mass-based support’ for former President Zuma, and urging government ’to listen to the people’.

’’We have no doubt that those who planned and staged the chaos that is unfolding belong in prison. Their actions are treasonous. The apparent strategy to have government capitulate and release the former President must fail.“

  • 10.26am

SHOPRITE SUPPLY CHAIN ASSURANCE: The Shoprite Group has appealed to all South Africans to remain calm as its supply chain is now able to supply into most stores again.

“Supply lines to the majority of stores are currently running smoothly and deliveries to stores in KZN has commenced,” the supermarket group said.

It also assured customers that the bulk of its supermarkets – Shoprite, Checkers, Usave and franchise OK Foods – around the country are stocked and operational and that there is no need for stockpiling food supplies and health products.

  • 10.22am

’I HAD NO OPTION BUT TO STEAL’: Hunger, being jobless and feeling ’’neglected by the government’’, this is what Vosloorus residents Siphamandla Cebekhulu and Tsholofelo Mokoena told a news website triggered them to join rampaging hordes in looting the Chris Hani Mall.

’’I don't have extra clothes to wear. I'm unemployed and have nothing to eat. I am wearing clothes that I stole from one of the shops. I know what I did is wrong. I had no option, but to steal,’’ Cebekhulu said.

Mokoena said: “I have taken some items that I can't mention. I am aware that people are going to lose their jobs because of our actions.’’

  • 9.54am

FOOD ACCESS TALKS: Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Thoko Didiza has met various stakeholders in the agricultural and food sector to discuss issues related to food access problems, logistics around transportation to KwaZulu-Natal, and various parts of Gauteng affected by the unrest.

’’The meeting was fruitful as all stakeholders involved committed to work together with the government in responding to the challenges of the food supply chain and access, in the case of KwaZulu-Natal,’’ Didiza said. The minister has further set up a technical team comprising experts from the industry and the government to monitor the implementation of all the issues raised urgently.

  • 9.34am

RAMPAGE CONTINUES: As SANDF soldiers rolled into parts of Durban on Thursday night to assist police and communities quell the looting and rioting that besieged the city, mobs continued to rampage in other parts of KZN. WATCH: Read more here

  • 9.27am

SOSHANGUVE APPLAUDED: Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology Blade Nzimande applauded residents, taxi organisations and businesses in Soshanguve for coming together to make sure that no looting or vandalism of property took place in the area. Read more here

  • 9.23am

PHOENIX DEATH TOLL RISES: Police Minister Bheki Cele has confirmed that the death toll in the north Durban township of Phoenix now sits at 20, with the number likely to rise as there were still some people reported as missing.

Cele was at pains to downplay the reports of simmering racial tension between the race groups in the areas, insisting the police’s main focus in Phoenix was criminality. Read more here

  • 9.06am

GLOOMY FORECAST: ’’It could take years to rebuild the damaged infrastructure; it is likely that Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) will find it difficult to rise from the ashes, with a knock-on effect on unemployment in the country,’’ says Statistician-General of South Africa Risenga Maluleke.

  • 8.45am
  • 8.32am

RAMAPHOSA ON MARCH: President Cyril Ramaphosa will this morning undertake an oversight visit to eThekwini, KwaZulu-Natal, to assess the impact of recent public violence and the deployment of security forces. The president will interact with the provincial government and security forces, the Presidency said in a statement.

The president’s visit follows the government’s engagement throughout this week with different sectors of society, including organised business, interfaith leaders and leaders of political parties.

  • 8.08am
  • 7.26am
  • 7.21am

’FAILED AGAIN’: One of Isipingo's heritage sites, the market, has been torched. Durban authorities have asked for barricades to come down and they will protect the communities, well they have failed us once again,’’ posted a Facebook user.


  • 7.13am

DISASTER RELIEF FUND: Business Unity South Africa (Busa) says social partners at the National Economic Development and Labour Council are exploring establishing a disaster relief fund.

“There is work that is now commencing on a disaster relief fund. Our concern is that unless it works at the pace that was utilised for the Solidarity Fund, which managed to get its funding and its systems up and running in two weeks, it's not going to be able to provide the intervention that is required immediately,” said Busa vice-president Martin Kingston.

  • 6.52am
  • 6.40am

UNREST PERSISTS: The unrest has continued in KwaZulu-Natal overnight. Looters torched the landmark Isipingo market – an important source of food for the Durban South community – set fires in Greytown, torched the Eshowe Mall, threatened to burn down the Eston Sugar Mill and there have been reports of group attacks in KwaDukuza and Ladysmith.

In Durban, residents of Duffs Road were attacked by a group of around 25 men who fired live ammunition at community groups standing guard.

Ninety-one people have died in the province and 1 500 have been arrested since last Friday.

  • 6.35am
  • 6.20am

Bakery operations and the distribution of bread have been suspended in KwaZulu-Natal and deliveries of bread in Gauteng have been affected by challenges in getting access to certain areas and the closure of stores.

  • 6.15am

BREAD BOOST: At least 20 different businesses, NGOs and NPOs – including Muslims for Humanity and the Natal Memon Jamaat Foundation – have joined hands to distribute 40 000 loaves of bread and 40 000 litres of milk to communities impacted by hungry people as a result of damaged infrastructure and looted shops in the greater Durban area. READ more here

  • 6.10am
  • 6.05am
  • Friday, July 16, 6am

CRITICAL SUPPLIES GUARDED: Food, fuel and other critical supplies bound for KwaZulu-Natal will be transported in heavily armed police convoys. Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said food supplies would not run out within 24 hours and that the SANDF would secure the vital N2 and N3 commerce routes, which had been closed.

  • 9.00pm

eThekwini Municipality intends to resume some services from tomorrow, Friday 16 July, following civil unrest over the past week.

  • 7.00pm

BREAD PRICES AT RECORD HIGH: Durban-based IOL live editor Lee Rondganger says he spent R40 on a single loaf of brown bread on Thursday as reports flooded in of long queues outside the few supermarkets which are trading.

  • 5.30pm

FOOD SECURITY IN SPOTLIGHT: Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza, says the problem in supply chains in KwaZulu-Natal is getting urgent attention.

  • 5pm

ALLEGED INSTIGATOR ARRESTED: One of the 12 suspected instigators believed to be behind the insurrection in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng has been taken into custody for questioning while police are tracking 11 more. Read the full story here.

  • 4.45pm

CEO NABBED FOR LOOTING: A chief executive of a financial institution who was arrested for participating in looting has been suspended for allegedly looting booze, a washing machine and other accessories in Durban. Read more here.

  • 4.12pm

WATCH: Durban community members come together in their numbers to help clean up Nandi Drive which experienced some of the worst looting and rioting since the civil unrest started this week

  • 4.06pm

  • 4.04pm

  • 4.02pm

  • 3.41pm

WATCH: The aftermath of a factory that was razed to the ground in Springfield Park in Durban by looters and rioters. Video: Doctor Ngobo / African News Agency (ANA)

  • 3.31pm