Zikalala: KZN riots have claimed 26 lives so far

He said 187 people had been arrested since protests began, which were initially calling for the release of former President Jacob Zuma from prison.

FILE: KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala. Picture: @sziks/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Kwazulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala has confirmed 26 people have been killed in widespread looting in that province.

He said 187 others have been arrested since the violence began at the weekend, initially calling for former President Jacob Zuma’s release from prison.

Zikakala has given an update on the province’s response to the latest developments.

He has called for peace and stability in the province following widespread looting.

The premier confirmed that the death toll in the province has risen: “The latest fatalities confirmed by security cluster in KwaZulu-Natal is standing at 26. These were people that were killed during stampedes as protesters ran riot,” Zikalala.

He said health care services in KwaZulu-Natal had been severely affected by the looting, with employees unable to get to work.

Some clinics have had to be closed as a result of the unrest.

Zikalala reiterated that those who had been unhappy with Zuma’s incarceration, should exercise their rights within the confines of the law.

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.