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WATCH: Army rolls into Durban as Cyril Ramaphosa descends on province

Published Jul 16, 2021


Durban - As South African National Defence Force 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 their rampant campaign in other parts of the province.

It comes as the presidency announced on Friday that President Cyril Ramaphosa will undertake an oversight visit to Durban to assess the impact of recent public violence and the deployment of security forces.

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“The President will interact with the provincial government and security forces,” Tyrone Seale, acting Spokesperson to the President said.

“The President’s visit follows government’s engagement throughout this week with different sectors of society, including organised business, interfaith leaders and leaders of political parties represented in Parliament,” he said.

Ramaphosa’s visit comes in the wake of the northern KwaZulu-Natal town of Eshowe being overrun by looters overnight while similar mobs ran amok in Isipingo, south of Durban where the heritage market was reportedly torched.

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There were reports of violence in in Ladysmith and KwaDakuza.

Fires were set in Greytown and rioters threatened to burn down the Eston Sugar Mill.

On Thursday, Police Minister Bheki Cele confirmed that the death toll in Phoenix, that has seen some of the worst violence stood at 20 with the number likely to rise.

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In Durban, residents of Duffs Road were reportedly 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.

This, as weary Durbanites continued to form snaking queues on Friday for food, fuel and medication.

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Several supermarkets that had been closed in the wake of the riots had opened and were allowing people to buy limited supplies.

Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said on Thursday that food, fuel and other supplies will be transported to KwaZulu-Natal under heavy police guard.

With a shortage of food supplies in KZN following days of looting and violent unrest, trucks from Gauteng carrying thousands of loaves of bread and milk arrived in Durban on Thursday after businesses, NGOs and NPOs banded together.

At least 20 different businesses, NGOs and NPOs – including Muslims for Humanity and the Natal Memon Jamaat Foundation (NMJ) joined hands to distribute 40 000 loaves of bread and 40 000 litres of milk to communities.