At Least 276 Dead In SA Unrest, Minister Reveals

Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni on Wednesday said the death toll from the unrest in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal has risen to a shocking 276.

Ntshavheni said 234 deaths were in KZN. She said the police were investigating 151 cases of murder. 
Inquest dockets have been opened for the remaining 83 deaths.

Police have arrested 15 suspects in connection with the murders.

She said during the unrest 42 deaths were reported in Gauteng, where police are investigating 17 cases of murder.

The rest are still at an inquest stage. No arrests have been made in that regard.

Ntshavheni also named the suspects who have appeared in court on charges of inciting violence, including Bruce Nimmerhoudt, Sibusiso Mavuso, Ngizwe Mchunu and Clarence Tabane.

She said while the suspects have been remanded in custody in Gauteng, one has been released on bail.

Meanwhile, as a result of the violent protests, concerns were raised with regards to food security within SADC as the region relies on South Africa for food supply.

“We want to assure the SADC region that law enforcement agencies posted extra security personnel along the major routes to ensure the proper passage of long-haul logistics trucks and the rail network,” said Ntshavheni.

She said the SA government has engaged food processors and suppliers, farmers, and agri-businesses to ensure the stability of the food supply chain.

The security of food supplies have normalised, mainly across the affected provinces.

Ntshavheni said bakeries have reopened and bread, which has been in short supply since the unrest, has been in full supply since the weekend.

Milk supplies are also now available and sugar mills have been operational since Saturday.

Ntshavheni said, meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa and over 100 business leaders have met to discuss the current security situation and assess the damage to infrastructure.

The meeting discussed areas where government and business can work together to rebuild the country in the aftermath of the crisis.

“In the meeting, business leaders and the government committed to rebuilding the country and ensuring that poverty and inequality are addressed speedily,” she said.