Six deaths, 219 arrests in violent unrest gripping KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng

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  • 219 people have been arrested in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng amid violent unrest.
  • Police said at least six people died in the violence.
  • NatJoints said an assessment of the extent of the damage to property and businesses will be done at a later stage.

Police have arrested 219 people across Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal amid the violent unrest that has claimed the lives of at least six people.

Police said 123 people were arrested in KwaZulu-Natal and 96 in Gauteng, as of 08:30 on Monday.

Gauteng police said they were investigating the circumstances around the deaths of four people since violent unrest broke out in the province over the weekend.

The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NatJoints) said in a statement:

On Sunday morning, the police responded to a call from Alexandra Clinic, where they found a body with gunshot wounds. Later that day, the body of a security guard with assault wounds was found at Jeppestown. The third body was discovered also on Sunday, in the evening, in Dobsonville, while the fourth body was discovered with gunshot wounds in Germiston.

It said investigations had been launched into the cause of death of the security guard and the person found dead in Dobsonville.

Police said there were two reported deaths in KwaZulu-Natal.

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"In KwaZulu-Natal, there is a report of two people who have been killed – one in Inanda and the second one in Umbilo. The circumstances leading up to their deaths are under investigation."

Violent unrest broke out on Friday, incited by calls to free former president Jacob Zuma from prison, but has since descended into mass violence and looting.

"The NatJoints has intensified deployments in all the areas in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal affected by the violent protests, as the damage to property and looting of stores continued overnight. The NatJoints is receiving intelligence support from its Intelligence Coordinating Committee comprising SAPS Crime Intelligence, Defence Intelligence, as well as State Security Intelligence to enable law enforcement to counter these sporadic violent protests," a statement read.

An assessment of the extent of the damage to property and businesses will be done at a later stage, police said.

On Sunday evening, President Cyril Ramaphosa condemned the violence and condemned "ethnic mobilisation".

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