By Kaya 959 News
The death toll from last week’s riots and looting has increased to 337.
Delivering the daily update on behalf of the government, Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, said the revised total number of deaths in Gauteng had increased to 79 while 258 people lost their lives in KwaZulu-Natal.
“The revision of the records happens when those who were injured ultimately succumb to their injuries,” she said.
Ntshavheni said 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 opened. In addition, the SAPS have to date opened 132 cases of arson in KZN,” she said.
According to Ntshavheni, law enforcement agencies are continuing with their investigations to ensure that instigators and key participants in the unrest are brought to book.
She said there were no new updates on the arrests of the instigators.
Officials contradict each other
Meanwhile, the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) confirmed that moving forward, Ntshavheni will lead all interaction between government and the public.
This comes as senior governments continue to contradict each other on reports of last week’s unrest.
In a letter to the executive, Ntshavheni asked that all communication and media queries be cleared with her in order to ensure synergy.
“All media statements of departments related to the recent developments must be issued in consultation with the GCIS to ensure the government message is aligned,” she said.
The GCIS will then provide all speaking notes to ensure that public commentary is in line with the government’s message.
According to reports, the centralisation of communication follows conflicting messages from President Cyril Ramaphosa and Cabinet officials on whether the unrest was an insurrection.
Last week, shops, shopping malls and businesses were looted in parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal following the arrest of Jacob Zuma.
Zuma was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment for contempt of court after he failed to appear before the Zondo Commission.