President Cyril Ramaphosa says over 130 murder cases are being investigated following the violent looting and vandalism incidents in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

Ramaphosa addressed the nation on Friday night, saying that the unrest was pre-planned and orchestrated by individuals seeking to destroy the nation’s constitutional order.

The SANDF has been deployed to assist the police in ensuring calm remains across the two affected provinces.

Ramaphosa says inquest dockets have also been opened to probe the fatalities.

“Since the outbreak of this violence, at least 212 people have lost their lives. Of these, 180 have been in KwaZulu-Natal, and 32 in Gauteng. The South African Police Service is investigating 131 cases of murder and has opened inquest dockets in respect of 81 deaths,” says Ramaphosa.

Over 2 550 people were arrested in connection with the unrest, and special arrangements are being put in place to ensure that these cases are prioritised.

Analysis of President Ramaphosa’s address amid SA unrest:

There has been mixed reaction to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement that authorities are on the hunt for those who fostered the mass looting and violence that hit Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

The leader of the Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus) Pieter Groenewald says those responsible for the unrest should face sedition and other charges.

He says South Africa must learn necessary lessons from the looting and violence, especially the need for development and upliftment of people in rural areas.

Groenewald says the intelligence services failed the country and the President in warning of the possibility of the violence.

Meanwhile, the EFF has been very critical of the President saying he was short on details about the economic interventions that will be made to help South Africa recover from the massive looting and violence that hit Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.