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Death Toll Increases Following Unrest

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The unrest in parts of the country over the past few weeks has led to several deaths. Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal are the leading provinces with the highest death toll. 

Acting Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said the death toll in the two provinces has risen to 337. 

The previous death toll, which was recorded on Wednesday, was 276. Ntshavheni said the recent increase comes after some people died after succumbing to their injuries.

“The SA Police Service has revised the total number of deaths in Gauteng to 79 and KwaZulu-Natal to 258, as related to the unrest. The revision of the records happens when those who were injured ultimately succumb to their injuries. 

Some of the deaths recorded in both provinces have been escalated and reported as cases of murder. Ntshavheni said law enforcement will continue to investigate deaths that occurred as a result of the unrest. 

“Of the reported deaths in Gauteng to date, 42 cases of murder have been opened and 37 inquest dockets have been opened. In KZN, 171 cases of murder have been opened and 87 inquest dockets have been opened. 

“In addition, the SAPS has to date opened 132 cases of arson in KwaZulu-Natal.” 

While the death toll continues to increase from those who have succumbed to their injuries, Ntshavheni said there have been no recent incidents of unrest reported in the country. 

The recent taxi violence in the Western Cape, however, has left many commuters caught in the middle of conflict and with no transport. 

The conflict follows a disagreement between the Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (CATA) and the Cape Organisation for the Democratic Taxi Associations (CODETA). 

National Transport Minister, Fikile Mbalula, recently paid a visit to the province in an effort to resolve the conflict. 

Despite the ongoing negotiations, the taxi associations have still not come to an agreement regarding the use of certain routes. 

“Having taken note that the talks between these parties have failed to make any significant progress thus far, government is undertaking its own assessment, guided by its obligation to protect the lives of innocent people, on the implementation of the provisions of the law that should be invoked. 

“In the event such provisions are invoked, this affords an opportunity to affected parties to make representations on the proposed measures including closure of routes and ranks,” the Minister said.

The current solution that the Minister has is to deploy alternative transport to routes affected by the conflict. This will help many commuters who have not been able to find alternative modes of transport.

“The safety of commuters remains the paramount and overarching priority of whichever outcome of the current processes and is a non-negotiable. The long-term solution should assist us in providing a safe, reliable, affordable and law abiding service for the commuters in the Cape,” Mbalula said. 

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