Rioting in South Africa which started early this month upon imprisonment of former president Jacob Zuma has claimed 300 lives since its outbreak.
According to Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, a minister in the president’s office said on Tuesday that the total number of death in Gauteng province rose to 79 and Kwanzulu-Natal to 258 as related to the unrest
She added that some of the latest deaths were of people succumbing to injuries sustained during the riots.
Widespread looting and burning of businesses broke out earlier this month, a day after former President Jacob Zuma began serving a 15-month jail term for ignoring a corruption inquiry.
The violence escalated into the worst unrest since the end of apartheid, prompting President Cyril Ramaphosa to label it an attempted insurrection.
Violence spread through Zuma’s home province KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng – the two most populous provinces, which together account for half of South Africa’s economic output.
The violence has abated, and six people including a radio DJ have so far been arrested on charges of incitement to commit public violence and several thousand more are being held for looting and arson.
The scale of the destruction and loss of life, which was fuelled by poverty and inequality that have persisted for almost three decades since the end of apartheid in 1994, is still becoming clear.
Authorities have managed to bring the violence under control. But the economic cost is estimated at 20 billion rand ($1.36bn) in KwaZulu-Natal alone, as 161 shopping malls, 11 warehouses and eight factories were extensively damaged.
However, Zuma was on Thursday 22th/07/2021 allowed to leave jail in the southeastern town of Estcourt to attend the funeral of his brother Michael, who died from an illness several days after the ex-president was put behind bars.