DEVELOPING | #UnrestSA: Death toll revised to 330 - Gauteng 79 and KZN 251

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A suspected looter pulls a few items along the ground outside a vandalised mall in Vosloorus.
A suspected looter pulls a few items along the ground outside a vandalised mall in Vosloorus.

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PODCAST | The Story: Why did SA's security agencies fail to avert the looting chaos?

South Africa's governmental security agencies have come under the spotlight since the chaos that ensued after the arrest and incarceration of former president Jacob Zuma on 8 July.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has confirmed that the violence and looting was planned. So why did police, military, and intelligence agencies fail to avert the rampage?

Listen here

23 July 16:59

Ntshavheni concludes her briefing urging South Africans to be safe and mask up.

23 July 16:58

Ntshavheni says government is praying that the nation can have closure and healing as a country.

23 July 16:54

There are no new updates on the "key-players and instigators", says Ntshavheni.

So far there is no determination if IPID is necessary, Ntshavheni says.

23 July 16:53

Ntshavheni says the deaths as a result of the unrest is being investigated as murder. There are investigations for those who have been "instigating" the unrest, who will be held accountable.

23 July 16:49

Ntshavheni says President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the nation on Sunday.

23 July 16:47

The Transnet breach is still regarded as unrelated to the unrest, says Ntshavheni.

23 July 16:46

Ntshavheni says 5 more people were arrested bringing the total number of arrests to 20 for murder.

23 July 16:44

Acting Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni starts her daily briefing saying the number of deaths in Gauteng remains the same as yesterday.

The death rate in KwaZulu-Natal has been revised from 258 to 251 as the other deaths weren't related to the unrest, she says.

23 July 15:58

Not all bodies in Phoenix mortuary linked to unrest – Health MEC

KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane says the number of bodies at the Phoenix mortuary is not be directly linked to the unrest in parts of the province last week.

While she didn't say outright that the facility was full, she said it had more than 300 bodies before the unrest.

"As of last week, we had 350 bodies that were already there that had nothing to do with Phoenix. People did die in Phoenix and it is a point that we cannot run away from."

Read here

23 July 15:57

Alleged instigator Sibusiso Mavuso back in court

Sibusiso Mavuso vehemently shook his head in the dock of the Westonaria Magistrate's Court as his case for allegedly inciting public violence during the civil unrest was again postponed. 

Mavuso made a brief second appearance in court on Friday.

He is charged with inciting public violence during the wave of civil unrest, which swept through KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng last week. 

Watch here

23 July 15:13

23 July 14:58

 47 500 vaccines lost in recent SA unrest, says health department

Around 47 500 Covid-19 vaccines were lost during unrest that ripped through KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

In a digital briefing on Friday, Acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi said 120 private pharmacies were damaged in the violence.


23 July 14:53

UnrestSA: Poor government leadership contributed to mass looting - SAHRC hears

The recent mayhem that left many dead and malls and shops looted, causing potential job losses, should be blamed on the lack of leadership in the country.

Nelson Mandela Foundation CEO Sello Hatang addressed a dialogue launched by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) following the unrest in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.


23 July 14:10

Looters urged to test for Covid-19

Acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi has urged those who participated in looting sprees last week, to get tested for Covid-19.

Kubayi said a report from Correctional Services indicated that quite a number of those arrested have tested positive for coronavirus.

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23 July 10:25

Could the unrest have been avoided if a 2018 SSA report had been implemented? We speak to Jane Duncan

South Africa's poor intelligence services have been blamed for the country's seemingly slow response to what President Cyril Ramaphosa described as a "failed insurrection" in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng last week.

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23 July 10:24

Families tell of stress resulting from backlog at a KwaZulu-Natal mortuary

A government mortuary in Phoenix, KwaZulu-Natal, was thrust into the spotlight after claims that it had reached capacity.

News24 was told of the delays which families encountered and the stress they experienced in waiting for bodies to be released.

Read more

23 July 10:16

Kgosientsho Ramokgopa | The destruction of infrastructure is an attack on investment plan

It is difficult to move forward with the country’s Infrastructure Build Programme when we leak billions of rands due to violent protests that destroy infrastructure, writes Kgosientsho Ramokgopa.

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23 July 10:15

FRIDAY BRIEFING | Looted: Can our country's fragile economy weather the storm?

Even before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, the economy was already limping along. Then came lockdowns, another round of Eskom power cuts and a slow vaccine rollout. Things did seem to be looking up though with data indicating an acceleration in gross domestic product in the second quarter. 

Read Friday Briefing

23 July 10:12

Lumkile Mondi | Failing state capacity: Time for investors to look beyond government?

Last week's unrest showed that it was non-governmental actors who held the power rather than government to stop the insurrection. Lumkile Mondi writes that business must look beyond the state and focus on non-state actors as partners and embed itself in communities where it conducts it operates. 

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23 July 10:01

Jean Redpath | Inadequate and violent policing in KwaZulu-Natal: What's behind it?

KwaZulu-Natal has long suffered from inadequate, corrupt and violent policing. Recent events have simply made it more obvious. The problem of policing in the province dates from before the transition to democracy. Policing is a national function - in South Africa is in crisis and in KwaZulu-Natal the crisis is magnified, writes Jean Redpath.

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23 July 09:59

Msunduzi says it might not be able to assist businesses affected in the unrest

Msunduzi Municipality has warned that it might not be able to assist businesses that were affected in the recent unrest.

Due to its finances being in a “precarious” state, the municipality will look to the KwaZulu-Natal government and possibly national government for any relief for affected businesses.

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23 July 09:48

Mshengu calls for justice ‘for all people who were killed for no reason’

There can be no peace without justice.

Those were the words of ANC provincial executive committee member and Education MEC, Kwazi Mshengu, with regards to the conflict in Phoenix.

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23 July 09:42

Boxer rewards residents for their bravery

During last week’s unrest, over 100 community members guarded the industrial precinct of Lynnfield Park near Pietermaritzburg, from being looted.

The precinct is home to the Boxer KZN distribution centre’s offices and warehouses.

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23 July 09:38

Looting won’t see polony and viennas run out, but you may need to switch brands – and pay more

South Africa is not likely to run short of polony and viennas as such, but in coming weeks and months favourite brands may not be available, and prices could spike.

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23 July 09:35

EXCLUSIVE | No money, no idea: SAPS intelligence failed to warn of ‘insurrection’ because of budget crisis

The police's Crime Intelligence (CI) division faces a cash crunch and could not conduct covert operations in the run-up to the wave of unrest, which left 337 people dead and saw rampant looting and vandalism, with losses estimated at more than R50 billion. 

Read more

23 July 09:34

#UnrestSA: Health department warns about illegal selling of infant formula as shortages loom in KZN, Gauteng

The violent unrest that broke out in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng last week has resulted in a dire shortage of infant formula and other essential food supplies.

The national Department of Health said it was aware about concerns over the shortages, adding it was illegal to sell infant formula on social media platforms.

Read more

23 July 09:08

Distell suffered R100m in damage to KZN depot, thanks 'taxi partners' for protection

Despite repeated bans on alcohol sales, Distell is expecting strong profit growth for the year to end-June. The company also confirmed that one of its distribution centres suffered R100 million in damage during recent unrest in KwaZulu-Natal.

Read more on Fin24

22 July 19:54

What the police, army found during raid to recover looted goods in Sebokeng

A cell tower battery, livestock, building materials, solar panels, shopping trolleys, basic grocery items and clothes were just some of the items recovered inside Boiketlong informal settlement in Sebokeng on Thursday.

SANDF members, police officers and private security personnel were on a joint mission in the area to recover items looted during last week's unrest, which saw malls and warehouses targeted for looting and destruction.


22 July 19:53

Here's how you can report looted goods to Cash Crusaders, as retailer joins recovery bid

Cash Crusaders is asking people to report goods that were stolen during the recent KwaZulu-Natal/Gauteng unrest on its website, as it joins the fight to combat the reselling of looted merchandise.

The second-hand reseller and new goods retailer said customers wishing to resell goods may be asked to produce original sales receipt documents proving ownership of the goods.

More in Business Insider

22 July 18:21

PICS | Clean start: Ex-offenders, parolees and probationers clean up KZN after unrest

Those who were "once on the wrong side of the law" took to the streets of Pietermaritzburg on Thursday to clean up the mess following the recent unrest in KwaZulu-Natal.

Deputy Justice and Correctional Services Minister Nkosi Phathekile Holomisa led ex-offenders, parolees and probationers in a clean-up campaign after the violence and looting in the City of Msunduzi.

See here

22 July 17:14

'Shock', 'sadness' as unrest claims the lives of 3 DUT first-year students

Three first-year students from Durban University of Technology (DUT) died last week during the violent unrest, according to the institution.

Andile Dlamini and Mpilwenhle Khethokuhle Mchunu were killed during the unrest. 

DUT said the third student, an 18-year-old female, died after hearing her partner was killed during the unrest, spokesperson Alan Khan said.


22 July 17:13

National Assembly to have 'extraordinary' debate on looting, riots

The National Assembly will have an "extraordinary extended" debate on the unrest, looting and destructing of property - but only when Parliament reconvenes in mid-August.

Earlier in the week, Parliament announced National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise did not cede to several opposition parties' requests to reconvene the National Assembly in light of the unrest.

On Thursday, it said in a statement Modise had proposed the "extraordinary extended" debate in her memorandum to political parties.

Read here

22 July 17:11

Transnet 'cyber attack': Govt investigating whether it's part of KZN unrest

Acting Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni says government is currently investigating whether a widespread technology outage at Transnet was part of the recent unrest that hit KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

Key infrastructure, including freight corridors, were attacked during the unrest.

"Currently we are treating the cyber attack on Transnet as an unrelated event," Ntshavheni said at a briefing on Thursday, acknowledging that government does not know yet.

Transnet announced that its IT system was hit with a "disruption" that halted key operations for the state-owned freight rail and logistics entity on Thursday.

More on Fin24

22 July 17:04

"We hope for your partnership in protecting and rebuilding South Africa," Ntshavheni says as she concludes her briefing.

22 July 17:00

Ntshavheni says even when situation was tense in Phoenix, government condemned attacks.

22 July 16:58

Ntshavheni says she can't say if the four people in custody have links because it will jeopardies the case.

Irrespective of their standing in society, the other "key players" will be arrested, she says.

22 July 16:56

Currently the cyber attack on Transnet is being treated as an unrelated event, Ntshavheni confirms.

22 July 16:52

Those who have murdered people will be brought before the law, says Ntshavheni - whether by planning the unrest or by killing people during the unrest.

22 July 16:49

Jacob Zuma was accompanied by correctional service officers to attend his brother's funeral, Ntshavheni says.

22 July 16:47

The four suspects who appeared in court are part of the "key players" and that's why they have been arrested, Ntshavheni says.

22 July 16:46

Ntshavheni says investigations are underway if the Transnet cyber attack is related.

It is being "treated as not an unrelated event".

22 July 16:39

No new incidents of "destabilisation" has been reported.

The N2 and N3 are operating smoothly, she says.

22 July 16:38

Ntshavheni says the number of deaths in Gauteng is 79 and in KwaZulu-Natal 258.

The revision of deaths happen when those who were injured succumbed to their injuries.

42 cases of murder have been opened in Gauteng and 171 in KZN.

22 July 16:36

Acting Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni starts her daily briefing welcoming the decision to keep the repo rate unchanged. 

22 July 16:10

GRAPHIC | Counting the loss of the looting and riots

As businesses in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and around the country count the cost of last week's unrest, it is clear that the only certainty that arises from the bedlam is that the damage wrought to businesses, jobs and the economy will be felt for years to come.


22 July 16:09

Zuma still in high spirits, says KZN premier

Despite being in prison for two weeks, former president Jacob Zuma is in high spirits.

This is according to KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Sihle Zikalala, who held a meeting with him in Nkandla on Thursday.

Zuma, who on Thursday was temporarily released from prison, attended the funeral of his brother, Michael, in Nkandla.

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