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Police confirm 12 people dead as result of xenophobia attacks

This number may be reviewed later as investigations continue.

Hostel dwellers in Jeppestown gather before Bheki Cele arrives to address them on 3 September 2019. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The police have confirmed that 12 people have been killed during the recent outbreak of xenophobic violence in the country.

Police Minister Bheki Cele, however, said that this number could change once investigations into the conditions under which they died were concluded.

The minister also said that a total of 639 people had been arrested for various offenses over the last few weeks that the looting and violence had occurred.

"The number is 12 but people in South Africa, they still get murdered, so with that period what helps us to finalise is an investigation into how it happened. The number might go down if we continue with our proper investigations but the number, for now, is 12."