212 people dead in violent South African protests
Johannesburg, July 17, 2021
At least 212 people have died in the violent protests in South Africa that erupted in the wake of former President Jacob Zuma's arrest on July 7, an official said.
Addressing reporters on Friday, Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said the province of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) reported 89 more deaths, bringing the cumulative total to 180 fatalities.
The Minister added that Gauteng, another violence-hit province, reported 32 deaths.
The police have arrested 862 people in Gauteng and 1,692 more in KZN, according to the official.
Ntshavheni said the situation in Gauteng and KZN is "gradually, but firmly" returning to normality since Thursday, but it still remains tense in some areas.
The police received reports of 1,488 cases in KZN overnight while no new incident was reported in Gauteng.
The police arrested two suspects in KZN with 4,000 rounds of ammunition and unlicensed firearms.
The number of South African National Defence Force (SANDF) deployed has increased to 25,000.
The deployment will remain until August 12.
They remain in Gauteng's hotspots and have also been deployed in other provinces because "we don't want the instigators to take advantage of other provinces", said the official.
Ntshavheni said the government is working on an immediate plan on ensuring economic recovery.
The N2 and N3 highways have reopened and the transportation of key goods, food, medical supplies and fuel has commenced.
The recovery of stolen goods is underway and the police continue to receive tip-offs, she added.
Zuma, once known for his fight against apartheid, has been imprisoned in the Estcourt Correctional Centre for 15 months for disobeying court orders.
He did not testify before the judicial commission that was investigating accusations of corruption against him between 2009-2018.