Death toll in S.Africa unrest rises to 337

Johannesburg, July 23: The death toll from the week-long violent protests and looting across South Africa, which were triggered following the imprisonment of former President Jacob Zuma, has increased to 337, according to a government official.
Addressing reporters here on Thursday, Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said the number of deaths in Gauteng is 79 and in KwaZulu-Natal 258, reports Xinhua news agency.
“Of the reported deaths in Gauteng to date, 42 cases of murder have been opened and 37 inquest dockets have been opened. In KwaZulu-Natal, 171 cases of murder have been opened and 87 inquest dockets have been opened.
“The SAPS (South African Police Service) have to date opened 132 cases of arson in KwaZulu-Natal,” she said.
Ntshavheni said the government considered the situation as stable since there had been no new incidents of looting or vandalism in either province in recent days.
In the past week’s unrest in the eastern provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, thousands of businesses and infrastructures were looted and burned.
Meanwhile, more than 2,500 people have been arrested in connection with the violent protests.
In the wake of the violence, the number of South African National Defence Force (SANDF) deployed has increased to 25,000.
The deployment will remain until August 12.
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.(IANS)

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