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72 people confirmed dead as South Africa burns

As community members and taxi associations band together to protect their suburbs and shopping malls from out of control looters, the NatJOINTS structure has confirmed that 1234 arrests have been made – 683 in Gauteng and 549 in KwazuluNatal.

Since an instruction was issued by the NatJOINTS to other provinces that have not been affected, to operationalise their prevention operational plans, there has been a report from Mpumalanga of an incident of looting and destruction of property in the Matsulu policing precinct with one person in custody.

There has also been a report of two incidents in the Northern Cape, Galeshewe where one person has been arrested.

The two latest provinces to be affected, MP and NC, have had their law enforcement officers patrolling identified areas of threat in an effort to deter possible opportunistic criminality.

Provincial Commissioners have in the meantime also activated the SAPS social crime prevention strategy and have been engaging with various stakeholders including community based organisations, traditional leaders and the business community in order to amplify current operational plans to best tackle the looting and destruction of property currently prevalent in KZN and GP.

The total number of people who have lost their lives since the beginning of these protests in KZN on Friday, 9 July 2021 has risen to 72.

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In KZN there are 27 cases being investigated by the police (murder 14, inquest 13) while the number in GP is 45 (murder 19, inquest 26).

The greater part of the inquest dockets relate to stampedes that occurred during incidents of looting of shops and malls; while other deaths and injuries were related to ATM explosions and shooting.

The SAPS, Defence Force and SSA as co-chairpersons of the NatJOINTS have condemned the attacks on law enforcement officers which have now resulted in the death of an officer from Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department, while seven SAPS members are recovering from injuries sustained while responding to violent protests (KZN 3, GP 4).

The NatJOINTS has commended the collaboration between the police and community through established platforms such as Community Policing Forums and Community in Blue.

The public is urged to continue reporting crime on the Crime Stop number 08600 10111.

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