WATCH | #UnrestSA: Government knows who instigators are and are tracking them - Ntshavheni

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Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni. Picture: GCIS
Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni. Picture: GCIS
  • Police are "tying up the loose ends" into investigation of 12 alleged instigators behind the volatile unrest, Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni says.
  • In KwaZulu-Natal, there were 1 488 incidents reported overnight, with an additional 89 deaths, bringing the number of fatalities to 180.
  • She said no new looting incidents were reported in Gauteng overnight.

Police are, "... tying (up) the loose ends", in the investigation into 12 alleged instigators behind the volatile unrest over the last week, Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said on Friday.

Saying investigations were, "... at an advanced stage", Ntshavheni at a briefing said, "... anything was likely to happen", over the weekend regarding possible arrest.

"That's the assurance police have given - they are very advanced, and they are just tying (up) the loose ends. They have to dot the Is and cross the Ts. That's where it is," Ntshavheni said.

"The government knows who the instigators are and they are tracking them. They are going to deal with them decisively. [That] an attempt will not be made again, I cannot say. But if that attempt is made, they will meet the full might of the law."

READ | #UnrestSA: Eastern Cape business chamber sends Ramaphosa scathing letter on violence, looting

Her remarks follow the move by the former head of the State Security Agency's (SSA) rogue special operations unit, Thulani Dlomo, of handing himself over to police on Friday.

Dlomo's lawyer Philani Shangase told News24 that his client wanted to clear his name following media reports that he was behind the instigation of the unrest.

"He has denied all wrongdoing," Shangase said.

Ntshavheni condemned the use of social media to instigate and incite violence. 

This was after a community leader was arrested on the West Rand on Friday morning, who was allegedly responsible for the recording and distribution of a voice note calling for public violence in the area.

Ntshavheni said the voice note was disseminated on Thursday.

The minister said the situation both in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng was gradually returning to normal.

She said no new looting incidents were reported in Gauteng overnight and that reports remained at 58 incidents. The province recorded an additional six deaths, bringing the death toll in the province to 32. A total of 862 arrests had been made in the province, with 137 since Thursday night.

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In KwaZulu-Natal, there were 1 488 incidents reported overnight, with an additional 89 deaths, bringing the number of fatalities to 180.

Overnight, 214 people were arrested, bringing the tally of people behind bars to 1 692.

She confirmed several crime scenes related to the discovery of ammunition, explosives, and hazardous materials.

Protocols related to the safety of officers before conducting seizures of such materials caused a delay in the transportation of  boxes of 500 live rounds of ammunition that were discovered after law enforcement officers dispersed a large group of looters on Wednesday in Mobeni, she said.

Furthermore, two suspects aged 16 and 23 were arrested in the area after they were found in possession of an unlicensed firearm and 4 000 rounds of ammunition, while on Thursday, 1 050 cartridges in boxes were found abandoned. 

Also on Thursday, 900 boxed cartridges were found abandoned.

She said:

A number of people were also found trying to syphon fuel from underground tanks at a petroleum service station in Pinetown in Durban. Hazardous items which were targetted by looters have proved to be related to the high number of fatalities during which seven bodies were discovered at a Makro store [on Thursday] morning in Pietermaritzburg.

Ntshavheni confirmed the reopening of the N2 and the N3 highways, allowing the transportation of key food stuffs, medical supplies, and fuel to recommence.

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