Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni has dismissed reports of renewed unrest on the country’s highways as fake news but has confirmed that the death toll from last week’s looting and arson in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng has risen to 337.

She was updating the media on the security situation in the country on Thursday afternoon.

Ntshavheni says currently there have been no reports of new unrest in the country, dismissing as fake news reports that there has been violence on any of the country’s highways.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has described the unrest as an assault on the country’s democracy. Ntshavheni says KwaZulu-Natal remains the province worst affected.

“The South African Police has revised the number of deaths in Gauteng, to 79 and in KwaZulu-Natal 258 as related to the unrest the revision happens when those who are wounded finally succumb to their injuries.

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 documents opened.”

In the video below, acting minister in the presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni briefs the media:

SANDF deployment

Ntshavheni says money was also found in the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) current budget to pay the R650 million cost of the deployment of soldiers to assist the police in restoring law and order in two provinces.

President Cyril Ramaphosa last week announced the deployment of the troops and said the looting and violence was designed to undermine the country’s democracy.

Ntshavheni was responding to questions from the media on the deployment of the 25 000 SANDF members.

“When the deployment has been approved they look within their own budget and say what resources they need and then submit that to the President to approve and also to parliament in line with the Act. The other question is that, what is the amount, the other day I indicated that we are still talking about estimated amounts because the deployment continues and gets revised currently. The estimate that has been submitted to parliament for the 25 000 for the initial period of one month and they are revising the submission to increase the term of the deployment of SANDF,  the estimate is six hundred and fifty rand,” the minister told journalists.

Police, SANDF conclude operation to recover goods looted in recent unrest in KZN: