LIVE BLOG: KZN economy loses billions during looting & damage

Riots erupted in many parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, with criminals looting shopping centres and burning infrastructure.

The president will do a media Q and A when it is feasible for him to do so.

Government says it's not time for ministers to throw mud at each other over statements made about the riots.

SANDF will withdraw once government feels sure that communities feel safe again.

Government condemns the sharing of fake news.

The impact on the KZN GDP is about R20 billion lost.

Stock to the tune of over R1 billion was lost in Durban alone.

Damages to factories and retail facilities in KZN will have a huge impact on the local economy.

Most malls are reopen. SANDF and SAPS are patrolling some malls.

The Durban and Richards Bay ports are reopen.

3 key suspects have appeared in court so far.

Members of the public must not take matters into their own hands. The public must also not accept bank notes with ink spilt on them as they will be from bombed ATMs.

SAPS are recovering looted items. The campaign is bearing fruit.

SAPS remain on high alert to act quickly on any info received on any possible more attacks.

Government says the country has turned the tide against the looting and violence. 

The minister will begin her briefing now.

Cele told Parliament’s portfolio committee on police that he had never seen any intelligence document warning of the failed insurrection. It was the first time he was quizzed on intelligence received by SAPS since the violence broke out.

Police Minister Bheki Cele has made a not so veiled accusation that State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo lied when she claimed that she gave the police adequate intelligence ahead of the looting that unfolded.

During the worst crisis to face post democratic South Africa, factional battles within the ANC have emerged as ministers and the party publicly contradict each other over the mayhem that engulfed parts of Kwa-Zulu Natal and Gauteng.

Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni will briefs media at 16:30 on government interventions to rebuild the economy & address various issues following the violent protests that took place in some parts of South Africa.

The briefing has come to a close.

One instigator has been granted bail, while others are remanded in custody.

Work is under way to replenish medicine supplies in KZN, especially for chronic patients.

On stolen medicine, Ntshavheni says it's not recommended to use it as it may be contaminated.

On whether there was a warning report that was ignored, Ntshavheni says there was a report that came and acted upon timeously.

On where DP David Mabuza is, he is still in Russia and will return soon when given green light by his medical team.

Government is still considering suggestions for a basic income grant.

"Any contrary view, we do not know where it comes from."

Sassa cash pay points will resume today.

Food stores that were looted are being replenished with supplies.

The Durban and Richards Bay Ports are both operational.

Ntshavheni says the minister of defence contradicted President Ramaphosa when she said there was no planned insecurrection.

WATCH LIVE: Govt gives update following days of violence in parts of SA

Police have been on a drive to recover looted goods across KZN and Gauteng, with many arrests made. 

Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni will brief media at 4:30pm on government interventions to address various issues emanating from the recent violent protests that took place in some parts of South Africa.

Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni will brief media at 4:30pm on government interventions to address various issues emanating from the recent violent protests that took place  in some parts of South Africa  

Mohamed says: “Nelson Mandela, other political leaders and South Africans fought the oppressive apartheid system to ensure that all who live in South Africa enjoy these human rights and that all people are equal before the law. Human rights are the cornerstone of South Africa’s Constitution, and the government must respect, protect, fulfil and promote these rights.”

More than 200 people lost their lives in the week-long unrest. Ove 2,000 others have been arrested. 

Executive director of Amnesty International South Africa Shenilla Mohamed says the riots have undermined the rule of law and violated several human rights including the rights to life, health, food and freedom of movement.

However, following the recent incident of public violence and destruction to businesses and public infrastructure, the human rights watch group says the legacy of the late statesman and struggle stalwart has been marred by violence and threats to democracy.

Today marks the former South African president and global peace icon's birthday, which is commemorated annually as Mandela Day across the world.

“They came with angle grinders, they came with guns, they came with all manner of things…and they were essentially trying to attack our democracy.”

Ramaophosa will visit Maponya Mall next. 

Maponya Mall was not targeted as it was guarded by community members.

Ndofaya Mall is one of those hardest hit, following days of looting in some parts of Soweto. 

It is where Ramaphosa started the first leg of his cleaning campaign in affected areas.

ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa has told Meadowlands residents in Soweto to never allow anyone to destroy the country's hard-fought democracy.

The Jabulani Mall is almost ready to resume some trade.

As residents attempt to get their lives back on track – they are now concerned about being able to buy basic food products in the area.

Lehloholono Ramasetla from the Soweto Surroundings Industries Chambers and Councils Forum (SAICCF) says they feel obliged to take part rebuilding the economy. 

“Before we can say we are happy, we are very saddened. This was very devastating. This is very sad.”

The least affected was the Dobsonville Mall, with only outside shops hit while the rest were left empty.

Residents have since rolled up their sleeves to clean the malls so that they can be re-opened.

In total six malls were looted and vandalised.

These include the Ndofaya Mall – where ten people were killed during a looting stampede – Jabulani Mall, Diepkloof Square, and the Bara Taxi Rank Mall.

Residents in part of Soweto say they are trying to get their lives back on track, with mop-up operations at malls almost completed.

Last week’s looting has resulted in long queues at some shops as residents battle to get supplies.

Joined by a delegation from the governing part, Ramaphosa is participating in a clean-up operation days after the unrest that caused much damage in the township.

In his capacity as leader of the African National Congress (ANC), President Cyril Ramaphosa has commended Soweto residents for protecting facilities from being looted, while reiterating that more could have been done to deal with the violence in the past few days.

FF+ leader Pieter Groenewald says those who instigated the attempted insurrection should face sedition charges.

“I appeal to the President that those people must be arrested as soon as possible and they must be charged with sedition and high treason. If they don’t arrest them very soon, they can regroup and start a new wave of violence and destruction and looting in South Africa.”

The Democratic Alliance (DA) and Freedom Front Plus (FF+) say Ministers Ayanda Dlodlo and Bheki Cele failed to deal with the unrest that cost the country billions of rand and led to the deaths of 212 people during rampant looting. 

Some opposition parties say while many South Africans will be teaming up and cleaning their communities this Mandela Day, Ramaphosa should sack Police Minister Bheki Cele and State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is being asked to clean up his cabinet and fire ministers who they say have failed the country following a week of deadly unrest that resulted in the torching and looting of businesses in parts of the country.

There has been mixed reaction to how government has dealt with the mass looting and violence that hit Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, reports Eyewitness News reporter Veronica Makhoali.

The country was rocked by seven days of unrest which saw crowds looting shopping malls, factories and warehouses. 

This saw government deploy 25,000 defence personnel to assist police in quelling the unrest.

At least 212 people have died, including some in shopping-centre stampedes, and more than 2,500 have been arrested across the two provinces.

The situation in both Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal is gradually returning to normal following the incidents of looting and violence. 

However, political parties have criticised government's response as delayed and an attempt to mask serious government failings in service delivery.

Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Groenewald welcomed President Ramaphosa’s admission that government would be reviewing its failures in preventing and managing the situation.

Groenewald said the security cluster of ministers needed to be put under the spotlight.

“The fact that the president admitted that they were not prepared for what happened in South Africa is a confirmation of what I have said that the intelligence structures in South Africa didn’t do their job and they failed the people of South Africa. This could have been prevented,” said Groenewald.

Meanwhile, Cope's Dennis Bloem said South Africa must learn necessary lessons from the looting and violence – especially the need for development and upliftment of people in rural areas.

The Thabo Mbeki Foundation said the unrest was a result of government’s failure to respond to the country’s socio-economic needs and said the situation was foreshadowed by open threats of civil war and unrest.

Meanwhile, the mall hardest hit by looting The Pan African Mall remains deserted with most of the businesses closed and only Shoprite and a butchery fully operational.


The main gate of the mall is controlled by a group of heavily armed guards, with only a certain number of people allowed inside.

The queue outside the mall appears to be as long as 500 metres, with shoppers coming from as far as 1st Avenue. 


People are flocking to the centre amid fears of a shortage of food and other commodities. 

The situation appears to be dire with a large number of shoppers rushing to the one of surviving malls in Alex.

The Alex mall survived the looting spree in the area this week.

Following a week of looting and shops being set on fire, residents of Alexandra are now queuing to get basic foods. 

Long queues have formed at the Alexandra Mall in the Gauteng township. 


The premier however says the ANC which is being blamed for the looting by some - will deal with its internal issues privately. 

“For now, as the Premier of Gauteng, it’s to make sure that no inner-party politics destabilise our province or the businesses or disrupt the economy.” 

With the jury still out in government circles about the precise cause of the recent lawlessness in the country, Makhura blamed it on various factors including political motivations. 

“There was lots of information that was coming through civilians about this, and in some instances, the response could have been better to prevent that. I really want to see the arrests of the systematic organisation behind this.”

However, he would not be drawn into discussing how conflicts within the African National Congress (ANC) are behind the anarchy – as some commentators have explained. 

At least 20 people died in the area just this week alone and now the community is calling for swift action to be taken. 

The acts of looting have led to mistrust among Indian and Black communities heightening racial tensions between the two groups.

Police Minister Bheki Cele has on Saturday morning visited the community of phoenix in KwaZulu-Natal which is one the most affected in the province.

There have been no incidents of copycat crimes in the Western Cape to date, but authorities are taking no chances.

“The City deployed massive resources across all areas in order to complement the efforts of our South African Police. We have also been joined by numerous private security companies and neighbourhood watches who pledged to keep watch over specific shopping centres within their respective areas," says the City's JP Smith.

South African National Defence Force soldiers have also been deployed across the province since Friday, to assist in potential violent flare-ups. 

Local law enforcement, City officials, and private security have banded together to protect shopping centres, malls, and other potential targets around Cape Town overnight.

Amid fears of potential violence spilling over to the province, the government has reiterated that law enforcement agencies have joined forces to ensure calm is maintained in all communities. 

The company's chief executive officer Steven Gottschalk says looters used different tactics to overpower security.

“We weren’t expecting to get invaded. We were surrounded in true military fashion. There must have been a thousand people.”

Its Cato Ridge depot in KwaZulu-Natal was overrun with looters on Monday, and some of its trucks were set on fire.

Meanwhile, one of South Africa's largest hubs storage and distribution companies, Value Logistics, says police were stretched in assisting with security and preventing looters from accessing facilities. 

Phili celebrated the opening of the N3 highway which opened yesterday after attacks on cargo trucks led to its closure. 

“I am happy that the N3 has opened, which means that a lot of goods are now moving to and from our province.” 

Chief executive officer of the Durban Chamber of Commerce Palesa Phili says there is a collaborative effort from different sectors to improve the dire situation.

“We are busy working with our members and also working very closely with government to make sure that, as a matter of urgency, the security of supply of fuel and foods becomes effective immediately. We are really hoping that the situation becomes much better this weekend.”

Government and business are working around the clock to ensure that essential services reach desperate residents in the volatile KwaZulu-Natal province.

Meanwhile, the health department said due to the violence that gripped Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, its vaccination targets have fallen behind. 

The Police’s Leon Rabie said the operation stretches to other focus areas.

“We are also monitoring our hospitals and warehouses that are housing hazardous material, COVID-19 vaccines, oxygen as well as food.”

A man in the area said it has been painful watching families trying to escape the violence in the middle of the night, desperate for refuge.

“As a son, uncle, and soon-to-be father, I am begging each and every one of you to stop this. It’s painful. Let’s help each other grow and restore our community back to the way it used to be, and to ensure safety and to ensure that our community – all races, all ages, and all sexes – are safe.”

Eyewitness News spoke to some community members who say they were living in fear while attacks and unrest swept through the township. 

The residents of Phoenix, in KwaZulu-Natal, have detailed the horror they endured in the past week, as violence escalated leaving as many as 20 people dead in the township. 

Phoenix has seen racial tensions heighten between black and Indian communities in the area. 

Police and the army are on the ground in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng trying to safeguard as many areas of concern as they can.

The police's Leon Rabie said, “What we specifically focus on is the national airports and harbours, our national and provincial transport routes, malls and shopping centres.”

Ramaphosa said while calm had returned to most of Gauteng and KZN, the threat to the country and its democracy remains real. 

President Ramaphosa also addressed those suggesting a state of emergency should be declared. 

“Our view, and my view, has been that a state of emergency should only be declared when all other means of stabilizing our country have shown to be inadequate.”

The President said those behind the recent acts attempted to pretext the unrest as a political grievance.

And, while making some serious admissions about government’s failure to respond adequately, Ramaphosa commits to sparing no effort in bringing those involved to justice. 

Ramaphosa said the country’s Constitutional order is under threat, describing the violence that rocked both provinces – including the economic hub – as economic sabotage. 

“The ensuing chaos was used as a smoke screen to carry out economic sabotage through targeted attacks on trucks, factories and warehouses, and other infrastructure necessary for the functioning of our economy and the provision of services.”

Ramaphosa said a critical review of government’s preparedness and response needs is necessary.

The President said South Africa lacked the capabilities and plans in place to respond swiftly and decisively.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has labelled the recent violence in parts of the country as a failed insurrection, as he makes damning admissions of government’s own failures in handling the crisis thus far.

Speaking during his address to the nation on Friday, Ramaphosa admitted that his government was poorly prepared for an attack of this nature.

The president ends off with his condolences to the families of prominent South Africans that passed away the past few days. These include: iNkosi Mahlangu (Chairperson of the National House of Traditional Leaders), Tsepo Tshola (one of our outstanding artists), Prof Ben Ngubane (former KwaZulu-Natal Premier), Aubrey Mokoena (Leader of the Release Mandela Campaign and former MP), Khehla Mthembu (business leader), Dr Sam Gulube (Former Secretary of Defence), Geoff Makhubo (Mayor of Johannesburg), Dr Vanguard Mkosana (former Director-General of Labour) and Michael Zuma (younger brother of former President Zuma).

Ramaphosa: We will never allow this great project of humanity, our South African democracy, to fail.

Ramaphosa: While security forces are essential to restoring order and stability, this assault on our democracy will ultimately fail because the people of South Africa will not allow it. If we stand together, no insurrection or violence in this country will succeed. We are engaged in a struggle to defend our democracy, our Constitution, our livelihoods and our safety. This is not a battle that we can afford to lose.

Ramaphosa: We call on communities across the country to work with the police through Community Policing Forums. No person should take the law into their own hands. We must guard against vigilantism and anything that could inflame tensions further.

Ramaphosa:  'We will identify and act against those who lit the flame, and those who spread it. We will find those who instigated this violence. They will be held accountable for their deeds. We will not allow anyone to destabilise our country and get away with it.'

'A state of emergency would allow a drastic limitation of the basic rights contained in our Constitution, which no responsible government would want to do unless it was absolutely necessary.'

Ramaphosa says that there is no need to declare a state of emergency. He says a state of emergency should only be declared when all other means of stabilising the situation have shown to be inadequate.

Ramaphosa emphasises that law enforcement agencies are working around the clock to locate and apprehend those responsible for planning and coordinating this violence.

Ramaphosa says there is no needs to go on panic buying as there is enough food and supplies in other parts of the country.

Comeptition Act regulations have been issued to enable firms involved in the supply of essential goods to share information about the availability of certain goods.

Steady progress is being made to secure infrastructure. Security forces are working with business to ensure the safe transport of fuel, food, oxygen, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and other critical supplies.

Once the crisis has passed, a critical review of preparedness will be taken.

Ramaphosa admits govt was poorly prepared for this orchestrated campaign of public violence and sabotage of this nature. We did not have the capabilities and plans in place to respond decisively and swiftly. Police responded commendably.

extensive damages has been caused to 161 malls and shopping centres, 161 liquor outlest and distributors, 11 warehouses and 8 factories. This does not include damage to roads and infrastructure.

Over 2,550 people arrested in connection with the unrest; special arrangemenst being put in place to prioritise these cases.

Since the unrest started, over 118 incidents of public violence, arson, looting and other unrest were recorded. The incidents were concentrated in KZN and Gauteng.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who have lost their lives, says the president.

Ramaphosa praises the cleaning up that he saw on his visit today, saying that South Africans were united in their diversity.

It failed to gain popular support, it failed because of the efforts of our security forces, and it failed because South Africans rejected it and stood up in defence of our hard-won democracy

The president said that the insurrections has failed.

The ensuing chaos was used to carry out economic sabotage, through targeted attacks on trucks and factories and warehouses and other infrastructure. They used social media to inflame racial violence, Ramaphosa said.

He says that using a political pretext, those behind the riots sought to provoke a popular insurrection amongst our people. hey sought to exploit the economic conditions that many South Africans lives under and to provoke ordinary citizens into criminal acts and looting.

He says that the events where a coordinated, well-planned attack on our democracy.  he says that the actions were intended to cripple our economy, cause social instability and severely weaken or dislodge the democratic state.

The president has begun his address.

The president said he and government realised this was not the case: "There were suggestions that some instigators were using terms that were ethnic mobilisation. They were using terms such as "leli Venda leli" meaning me... With all our leaders, we came to the conclusion that this was not ethnic mobilisation at all."

President Ramaphosa visited Duran today to assess the damage from the riots and looting. During the visit he backtracked on his initial statement that the riots, violence and looting in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng were sparked by “ethnic mobilisation”.

Government earlier today declared the situation in Gauteng as stable, with no new incidents of violence or looting overnight. KwaZulu-Natal was described as stable but tense.

To date, 2,556 people have been arrested for public violence and theft amongst other charges and some of those arrested have already made their first court appearances.

It has been a tumultuous week for the nation as we watched parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng fall victim to riots and looting. The final economic cost is still being calculated but the cost in life currently stands at 212.

President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the nation in just under 30 minutes. It will be his third public address this week.

As the key economic routes into and out of KwaZulu-Natal open up, there's growing evidence that this one week of violence has caused damage that will take many years to repair.

Looters stole indiscriminately, targeting big businesses as well as small and micro enterprises.

The Gauteng premier believed that the township economy had been set back by 15 years.

Premier David Makhura said that businesses that were already limping due to the lockdown restrictions were worsened by the current crisis.

The township economy was one of Makhura’s key legacy projects, with many interventions introduced during his tenure to empower locals while creating sustainable supply chains.

But he said that a lot of this would have to be rebuilt due to the anarchy.

“The reversals of this week are more than the reversals of COVID-19. In Gauteng, the looting and these activities started on Saturday night and in six days, the reversal of the progress made in the township economy has been significant. The impact has been huge.”

The Gauteng government has committed to ensuring that the township economy accounts for 30% of the province's gross domestic product in nine years.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura on Friday said that the country’s national security had been tested by the violent riots this week and now it was time for government to get back to the drawing board.

Makhura was reflecting on the lessons government could draw from the lawlessness that gripped parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

He said that one of the areas government had been reassessing was the timeous implementation of programmes meant to empower marginalised people so that they were not vulnerable to manipulation by “political syndicates”.

However, the most critical area was security, with Makhura saying that the province had been briefing national government about how to protect factories.

“We haven’t had factories targeted but we are on full alert because we are looking at the patterns from what has happened. We don’t want to underestimate that it will not happen.”

The premier said that government should also ensure that everyone had a stake in the economy and after the riots, the Gauteng government would be reviewing the newly published Township Economic Development Bill.

ICYMI: Acting Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni updated the media on the ongoing violent protests in some parts of South Africa.

"Three have been prioritised by DPCI and they are currently busy with the processes."

Rabie said that in the case of the three, investigation teams had been hard at work gathering the necessary affidavits and that they were ready to proceed quickly.

Twelve individuals have been identified by authorities as the people who caused the spark that ignited the wildfire.

Law enforcement promised this week to find those responsible for driving the violence, especially those behind the initial action.

They've already arrested one of the alleged instigators and on Friday morning the SAPS' Major-General Leon Rabie told MPs they were zeroing on some of the others.

As the country continues to count the costs of the catastrophic unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng over the past week, law enforcement is placing its focus on the instigators or so-called ringleaders.

The briefing has now ended.

On recovering looted goods, there are protocols that dictate how law enforcement should store them.

On possibly releasing Zuma, he qualifies for parole in 3 months. For medical parole, he has to apply.

An estimation of total losses cannot be made yet as the economic cluster departments are still doing assessments.

The SANDF is working to make sure the KZN - GP railway line is in operation again.

Ntshavheni says she cannot say another attempt similar to these riots will not be made, but says it will be dealt with decisively.

President Ramaphosa will address the nation with his update at 8:30pm.

Ntshavheni says South Africans can rest assured that the SANDF has the capabilities to defend the country.

2 police officers were found with looted goods and arrested.

Government considers the situation as fully stabilised now.

Ntshavheni also cannot comment on the mayoral candidate arrested today for allegedly inciting violence.

Government says it cannot release details of the instigators being arrested as it will jeopardise investigations by law enforcement.

JUST IN: 32 people have died in Gauteng, 180 in KZN. 862 arrests have been made in Gauteng, while 1,692 have been made in KZN .

Traffic is flowing on both directions on th N3.

Ntshavheni says economic routes such as the N2 and N3 are reopened.

Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni will shortly give the latest update from government.

OPINION: Lurking behind the “reasoning” of the “protests”, what Mzwanele Manyi, spokesperson of the Jacob Zuma Foundation, calls the “righteous indignation” at the jailing of Zuma, are misrepresentations and fallacious legal and political arguments, designed to obfuscate the real issues and infractions through constructing arguments engaging in false equivalences.

ICYMI:South Africa is generally a secure food country at a national level. On top of this it is a net exporter of agricultural and processed food products. Last year agricultural exports reached the second-highest level on record of US$10.2 billion following a favourable production season.

But food security is about more than just having sufficient supplies. It also requires food accessibility, affordability, nutrition and stability over time.

ICYMI: Populism at its best with a whiff of toxic masculinity for good measure - these are the men behind Zuma’s reckless attempts to tear down the edifice of our constitutional democracy. These unprincipled lawyers and others who speak on behalf of Zuma are comfortable to weaponise gender, race, ethnicity, and poor legal argument in defence of the indefensible.

ICYMI: Firstly, it is true that former President Zuma is a Zulu. It is also true that his home is geographically located at Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal. But Zuma was the President of the ANC and the President of the country. As such, his support base is not solely confined to KwaZulu-Natal as a province nor to the Zulu ethnic group as some allege. Even at Nkandla, not all the people who converged there were Zulus as some assume. The unrest that has engulfed the country transcends the Zulu identity that some are erroneously popularising. Provinces like the North West, Mpumalanga and Gauteng have not been spared, albeit in different magnitude. In a nutshell, the ethnic narrative cannot be sustained.

ICYMI: Why are we here? What did Naledi Manyoni and her baby do? What did all those people in that building do? What did the employees of over 45,000 business (the estimate in KwaZulu-Natal alone) who are the breadwinners in their families do? They are jobless now. The buildings are insured. Their employment is not.

Government cautions against panic buying petrol

Dlodlo said that the unrest was planned over a period of time and also took advantage of people’s frustrations.

She's dismissed suggestions that her agents had a hand in the chaos: “We have got men and women that work for this country to ensure that our citizens sleep at night and knowing very well we are gathering information to handover to law enforcement agencies and ensure that our people are protected.”

State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo said that there was no evidence suggesting that current members of the State Security Agency (SSA) were involved in the recent looting and destruction of property.

She joined President Cyril Ramaphosa in KwaZulu-Natal on Friday where he was assessing the damage.

South African virologist Barry Schoub, a member of a scientific panel advising the health ministry, warned of the state of the pandemic in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province, which has been heart of the unrest.

Looting sprees in South Africa that saw thousands of people pillage shops and warehouses are poised to worsen the country's already grave struggle with coronavirus, health experts said.

"We are concerned about the last three or so days of rioting in some parts of South Africa, it may exacerbate the situation of a very severe wave," the World Health Organization's director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, said on Thursday.

Eyewitness News understands police obtained info & identified the suspect as the owner of the device where the message was originally recorded.

JUST IN: Gauteng police have arrested a mayoral candidate in Roodepoort, west of Joburg, after he allegedly spread a recording calling for violence in the West Rand.

And one woman said those guards had been asked to abandon their posts.

“They don't want to, unless they get like the army, you know, disposed to them. Then yeah, they’re willing to take it out but for now, no, they're not going to do that.”

Residents have described their neighbourhood as something of a warzone with makeshift barricades in the roads and residents standing guard through the night.

The area is predominantly Indian, and residents believe there is a concerted effort to direct looters to target them, sparking racial tensions and panic.

“It's one of the worst nightmares. It feels like a dream and you want it to be over,” said one resident.

Phoenix residents have shared details of their harrowing experience while rioting in KwaZulu-Natal continued unabated over the past week.

Meanwhile, police in KwaZulu-Natal have reported more arrests this morning. 

Twelve suspects have been nabbed for being in possession of stolen goods in Marianhill today. 

As of last night, over 2,000 people had been arrested for the violence.

INFOGRAPHIC: #ShutdownSA riots in numbers so far...

The President also acknowledged that they could have done better.

“We were overwhelmed by the situation and the primary thing on the mind of the minister of police and commanders was to save lives.”

During his walkabout in KwaZulu-Natal, where he has gone to assess the impact of the week-long violence, President Cyril Ramaphosa says law enforcement agencies could have done better in initially responding to the violence and looting which broke out in parts of the country. 

Ntshavheni says police are confident they have a strong case against the suspect who is among the 12 individuals identified as ringleaders. 

“They have got enough evidence to hand over and launch a successful prosecution. Of course, it’s a decision of the National Director of Public Prosecutions on whether the evidence is strong enough but the police, so far, are confident of the evidence and they are confident that they will make the arrests for the other instigators.”

Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni says the situation has now been brought under control. 

“Currently the situation is calmer, that’s why we have the President going there. But we also have the reopening of businesses, we have our 139 shopping centres that are still standing and given that business there were no businesses that were fully operational, we are working with business that there food and the movement of fuel to fuel stations.”

President Ramaphosa's reiterated the violence that's devastated KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng was actively instigated.

One of 12 suspects identified as the instigators of the violence was taken into custody earlier in the week.

“In as far as the 12 of concern; three have been prioritised by the DPCI [Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation] and they are currently busy with the processes. The necessary affidavits have been obtained. The arrangement this morning, the magistrate in Durban was on standby to issue warrants of arrest should that be necessary”, said the police's Leon Rabie. 

The Police's Leon Rabie said: “At 1:15 this morning, an individual was arrested in the west rand. He was distributing messages, mobilising the communities. This was reported to the South African Police Service, we followed on that information.”

Police say one person has been arrested in Johannesburg's west rand for allegedly inciting violence, linked to the riot, through social media.

Earlier President Cyril Ramaphosa visited the province of KwaZulu-Natal, where incidents of looting and arson were reported overnight. 

The President; accompanied by KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala, Police Minister Bheki Cele, State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo, and Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula; was there to assess the impact of the recent violence. 

The nursing union’s Sibongiseni Delihlazo said: “I received a report that burses who were on duty from Sunday, by Wednesday they were still on duty because they couldn’t go home. The employer was also expressing the frustration that if they let them go, those who are at home cannot come to work and that would mean those patients cannot be taken care of. So, they have to work double shifts; day and night.”

Denosa says some of its members had to stay at home, while others were stuck in hospitals due to the unavailability of public transport. 

It’s not just the movement of goods that has been affected by the week-long violence. 

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) has urged government to provide safe transport for nurses who fear being attacked in the unrest that has gripped Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. 

On Thursday, acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said efforts would now be focused on re-opening the N2 and the N3 - which are vital transport routes for food, medicine, fuel, and other supplies  - as well as the ports of Richards Bay and Durban.

This route has been closed for almost a week since the unrest started on Friday last week in these two provinces.

Road users are warned, however, to expect high traffic volumes and possible delays.

Thania Dhoogra is the operations manager at the N3 Toll Concession says: “As always, it’s vitally important to follow the rules of the road and share the road responsibly. Law enforcement agencies are deployed on the N3 toll route, and will be maintaining a highly visible presence.”

Meanwhile, after days of being closed to traffic for security reasons, the N3 Toll Concession has on Friday confirmed that law enforcement authorities have fully reopened the N3 toll route between Cedara in KwaZulu-Natal and Heidelberg in Gauteng.

The President was supposed to head to Phoenix from there, but changed and said he was rushing back to Gauteng for a cabinet meeting.

Ramaphosa's address is over.

"There were suggestions that some instigators were using terms that were ethnic mobilisation. They were using terms such as "leli Venda leli" meaning me." He does concede though that government got it wrong and this was not only about ethnic mobilisation. He says the criticism of him saying it was is viewed in a positive light."

Cabinet will have a meeting later. Ramasphosa says he is encouraging all those on the ground.

Ramaphosa applauds those who have stood up to work with law enforcement to restore law and order. He says they are defending our democratic state and their communities.

Ramaphosa concedes law enforcement could've done better to respond initially, but says the situation could have been much worse. "We are going to have to re-examine everything that we do in defence of our people."

"It is quite clear that all these incidents of looting were instigated. They were planned... We are after those people... We have identified a good number of them. We will not allow anarchy and mayhem to rule in our country. People have lost their lives, that is most concerning."

Ramaphosa has arrived in Phoenix.

The president's special investment envoy Jaco Maree says critical routes need to re-open very soon.

“Certainly as investment envoys, we have been talking to the relevant people in government to push this ahead because this is the main – obviously the most important – artery in the country.”

On Thursday, Tiger Brands announced the temporary suspension of its operations in KwaZulu-Natal after looting resulted in more than R150 million worth of stock being lost.

South Africa's largest food manufacturer said access to food products will depend on the re-opening of key transport routes.

The N3 between Cedara and Harrismith remains closed to traffic. 

Manuel says furniture has also been stolen.

“It seems to be random in terms of computers, photocopiers, and things like that being stolen; chairs and the like.”

The National Professional Teachers' Organisation of South Africa (NAPTOSA) spokesperson Basil Manuel says it has also received advice from the education department to guard schools that need food supply for children's feeding scheme programmes.

Meanwhile, while schools are closed, parents in some parts of KwaZulu-Natal are worried about whether children will be able to return to the classroom after 32 schools were vandalised in the province.

Chairperson of the phoenix community policing forum, Umesh Singh says it's possible that some people who were killed there this week - came under fire from those who were trying to protect themselves.

“It is alleged that they were looters and there was fired shot between both. Yes, a lot of them have died from shooting. There was a shootout between the looters and community members so anything is possible at the moment.”

The tension has led to confrontations and deepened anger – with some people saying they are being treated like thugs in their own communities and are being denied access critical services.

Twenty people have died in Phoenix in the last few days. 

Residents have resorted to guarding most of the neigbourhoods, but also restricting anyone from entering their areas.

President Cyril Ramaphosa will be in KwaZulu-Natal this morning to assess the situation after days of violence, panic, and racial tensions. 

The president will be in eThekwini where he's expected to interact with affected communities.

Kasrils says he hopes allegations that former operatives and ANC links being made can be successfully pursued.

He says the violence is a consequence of ANC infighting and deepening inequality and poverty.

“You don’t need intelligence agencies. We were all protecting unemployment, inequality, frustration of the youth and people generally – the hunger. There was going to be what we all refer to as ‘hunger riots’.”

Drawing lessons from the past, the anti-apartheid stalwart says to quell the violence requires the full might of the state and communities coming out like they did in the 1990s against the apartheid regime.

“Linking in with the security forces to bring about normality and to protect these sources of food and supply.”

Kasrils has described the current crisis as havoc, laying some blame on former President Jacob Zuma and his allies as well as the country’s continued socio-economic woes.

Looting and violence continued into the early hours of this morning, in KwaZulu-Natal.

Former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils says government must use its full power immediately to stabilise the country.

He says he never thought democratic South Africa would require a state of emergency or the military on its streets until now.

Kasrils says if the ANC is to survive and focus its attention on its duty to the republic, Jacob Zuma’s allies must also face the chop.  

“Those characters around him who have said, our growth test mediocrities and the time is past the shelf life.”

Zuma is currently serving a 15-month jail sentence for contempt.

Kasrils says former president Zuma is a criminal who only has himself to blame.

“He is in custody where he belongs. He is responsible for that. He has other charges to face.”

Kasrils is a liberation hero by all accounts but says this is simply not enough – to earn one respect.

He cautions the ANC against hero worship, living in the past. and continued ties to those who once fought for democracy but have now become anti-revolutionary.

In a conversation with Eyewitness News, the former ANC’s head of intelligence says if the party is to survive, it must lead the country.

Anti-apartheid activist Ronnie Kasrils says the African National Congress (ANC) must accept that former President Jacob Zuma is a criminal, and it must cut its sentimental ties to him. 

The incident came just hours after Police Minister Bheki Cele met with community leaders and set up a peace committee to restore calm in the area where 21 people had died in vigilante skirmishes. 

Private security reinforcements were called in when a standoff ensued with police and the protesters. 

The incident signals that the unrest is far from over and that a more aggressive plan is needed from the police top brass to restore peace and calm in the area that is now a hotspot fueled by tensions - both racial and criminal

There were also reports of sporadic protests and lootings, and the burning of sugarcane fields. 

In Durban, angry mobs set fire to homes in Duffs Road near Phoenix, and residents had to flee their homes in the early hours of the morning.

Overnight looters torched the landmark Isiphingo market, set fires in Greytown, torched the Eshowe Mall, and even threatened to burn down the Eston Sugar Mill. 

The unrest continued unabated in KwaZulu-Natal overnight. 

Ninety-one people have died in that province and 1,500 have been arrested since Friday last week. 

Bakery operations and the distribution of bread have been suspended in KZN and deliveries of bread in Gauteng have been affected by challenges in getting access to certain areas and the closure of stores.

With clean-up operations in vandalised communities underway, South Africa’s largest food manufacturer Tiger Brand says access to food products will depend on the re-opening of key transport routes.

On Thursday, the company announced the temporary suspension of its operations in KwaZulu-Natal after looting resulted in more than R150-million worth of stock being lost.

The government sees what has been happening as economic sabotage, instigated by people with skills and resources, who are trying to undermine the democratic order and foment insurrection.

Asked about Thulani Dlomo, a former spy chief, and reported an ally of the jailed former President Jacob Zuma, Ntshavheni remained tight-lipped.

“The question on Mr Thulani Dlomo. I don’t know whether Mr Thulani Dlomo is part of the 12 instigators – the police are investigating and I cannot comment around the specificity around one individual and no one can comment because that compromises the investigations and we want to plead that that question when it comes, we won’t deal with it again.”

However, Ntshavheni was not prepared to say much about what could be a police breakthrough:

“The question around the 12 alleged instigators - we want to report that one is already custody and the saps tracking team has increased their surveillance of the remaining eleven.”

One of 12 people who allegedly behind the violent mayhem in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal has been taken into custody by the police, the government has confirmed.

Minister Ntshavheni, announced the arrest on Thursday, saying police were keeping close track of the other 11 suspects.

Ntshavheni also spoke out against communities taking the law into their own hands, appealing that they work with the police and community policing forums.

“We call on all South Africans involved in altercations to breach the racial barriers and work together towards a common goal of protecting South Africa.”

She said efforts are underway to tamp down racial tensions that have flared in Phoenix, KwaZulu-Natal.

Ntshavheni allayed fears of a looming humanitarian crisis in KwaZulu-Natal:

“There are enough food supplies to last us until the N2 and N3 are opened to move the goods – either (from) ports or warehouses and they will be moved, as quickly as possible. NatJOINTS have prioritised the reopening of the N2 and N3 and the operations of both the Richards Bay and the Durban harbours.”

The minister said KwaZulu-Natal was still volatile, but the 139 incidents reported were less than in previous days. 

Efforts are now focused on re-opening the N2 and the N3 –  vital transport routes for food, medicine, fuel, and other supplies – as well as the ports of Richards Bay and Durban. 

Acting Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, gave an update on the security situation in the country on Thursday. 

She said no incidents were reported in Gauteng on Thursday, and that calm has largely been restored.

Thus far, 117 people are reported to have died in the violence the past eight days, while more than 2,000 have been arrested.

The government says 10,000 defence force members are already on the ground in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, and that incidents of arson and looting appear to be abating. 

The Defend our Democracy campaign and its leaders said that the recent unrest and looting were not just about former President Jacob Zuma’s incarceration.

Ramaphosa and his ministers have been at the receiving end of public anger as many expected the intelligence sector to have helped the police act proactively to prevent the anarchy.

Busa president Sipho Pityana said that while they understood and appreciated the difficult circumstances that Ramaphosa was facing as he pushed back against corruption, the crisis should have been handled better.

Business Unity South Africa (Busa) said that it still had confidence in President Cyril Ramaphosa despite its criticism of his handling of the ongoing violent looting in the country.

The organisation has called on Ramaphosa to take the lead enforcing law and order, using the power and resources at his disposal and for him to be present through regular national addresses.

INFOGRAPHIC: #ShutdownSA riots in numbers so far...

Major supermarkets at Rosebank Mall and Sandton City had long queues of shoppers waiting to go in as stores still observed COVID-19 protocols to sanitise and distance.

At Killarney Mall, small businesses like dry cleaners and florists also had the confidence to open up.

Southgate Mall just outside Soweto has opened a few gates, seemingly to ensure that security was not overwhelmed.

While this delayed traffic going in and out, shoppers were not deterred.

In Soweto, those that were looted were also cleaning up.

From Southgate to Sandton City, major retailers and small businesses have also opened their doors.

 Johannesburg shopping malls that survived the looting earlier this week were slowly returning to their normal traffic.

Acting Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni held a media briefing to provide an update on the violence happening in parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

Amid concerns of a brewing humanitarian crisis in KwaZulu-Natal with widespread food and fuel shortages, government said that it was seeing an improvement.

The minister has concluded her address.

South Africans and the world have watched in horror as what began as just riots, turned into looting, destruction of infrastructure and a vigilante mob fightback campaign spurred by racial division in Phoenix, KwaZulu-Natal.

5,000 more SANDF members were officially deployed today. But this is not the biggest deployment. The largest was during level 5 lockdown last year.

Government extends condolences to those who lost their lives, regardless of whether or not they were part of looting and violence.

Government lauds members of communities contributing to #RebuildSA #CleanUpSA

The impact of looting will be felt most by the poor, says the minister.

The effect on the supply value chain from Durban to parts of SA is of concern.

Government warns against vigilantism in communities.

KZN remains volatile. 39 incidents were reported. 392 arrested made, in total 1,478. 91 deaths.

In Gauteng: 139 more people have been arrested. 26 deaths. 

Ntshavheni says Gauteng is largely calm now. Only 6 incidents were reported.

Communities in KwaZulu-Natal are pleading for help amidst a deepening humanitarian crisis in the province.

Communities were also clubbing together to try and assist as people scrambled to find basic necessities, including bread.

A group of academics, professionals, taxi drivers and business people in the province were now coming together in the wake of the seven days of the worst post-apartheid violence that has hit the country.

Thabani Zulu, who's coordinating efforts by the Xubera Institute for Research and Development, said that people were destitute.

"If you go to the township right now, you will find they've been cut off and people are not able to access food or medication and they have to drive long distances... there's a crisis of petrol now."

Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni briefs the media on the latest from government.

Association officials met with the South African Petroleum Industry Association which had agreed to prioritise fuel sales to healthcare workers.

It was also in talks with a number of organisations to ensure that food, medicines and fuel supplies to hospitals were not compromised.

But with parts of the N3 highway, one of the country's busiest road freight arteries, closed, the organisation feared that supply issues would arise.

Health services have been affected and medical facilities have come under even more strain due to a sharp rise in trauma cases stemming from the violence.

The association said it has asked the national and provincial health departments to boost security at all medical facilities.

The South African Medical Association (Sama) said that it was working to ensure that the necessary support was provided to healthcare workers caught up in the anarchy sweeping parts of the country.

Kodwa spoke of a master plan, painting a picture of a force aimed to destabilise the government run by President Cyril Ramaphosa, who he said had been tackling corruption.

“To an extent, they wanted to destabilise the country and they also planned what is called in a right-wing language, even a lone wolf must start racial tension and racial war in South Africa,” he said.

Police Minister Bheki Cele said that there were between 10 to 12 instigators who they hoped to arrest, but Kodwa said that there were more people organising the plot.

“We are looking for masterminds, we didn’t get a list of masterminds. But we are told law enforcement are beginning to knock on their doors and will ensure arrests and you will know about them soon," Kodwa said.

Kodwa conceded that the deployment of 2,500 soldiers in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng was not nearly enough but vowed that government was on top of the security situation in the country.

He said that they would continue to stop any attempts to destabilise the state's security.

State Security Deputy Minister Zizi Kodwa said that they had received intelligence information even before former President Jacob Zuma's imprisonment about a "big plot" for domestic instability and popular revolt with right wing elements at play.

Kodwa said that they had established that instigators were planning to first target the distribution and supply of water, fuel and airports to cut off resources to communities.

The deputy minister said that the second part of the plan from criminal organisers was to encourage communities to rise up with "popular revolt", with most who were looting not even understanding that there was a bigger plan at play.

“The plan was just to destroy everything else, there must be agitation and remove this government,” said the deputy minister.

This mammoth clean-up and repair operation is now under way, but was taking place with the help of soldiers to ensure the safety of those tasked to do the work.

First, any debris would have to be removed from the road but there also needed to be assurances that there was stability in the nearby communities situated along the route to ensure that violence did not flare up again.

Only then could repair work be done and it was not yet clear when some lanes would be reopened.

This N3 is key to the transportation of fuel and food supplies.

Members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) have been brought in to guard as clean-up operations are under way along the N3 toll route from Cedara in KwaZulu-Natal to Harrismith in the Free State.

The 200-kilometre-long road connecting the inland with KwaZulu-Natal has been forced shut due to the instability in the area over the past few days, which led the N3 Toll Concession to remove staff and cashiers from the plazas for safety reasons.

Meanwhile, health authorities in Kwazulu-Natal said violent protests and looting in the province was starting to negatively affect some healthcare facilities.

At a briefing on Wednesday night, Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu said over the past three days, many staff members had been unable to report for duty because access routes were blocked.

She said despite this, they've had to cater for an increased number of trauma patients, and some of those participating in the ongoing looting had suffered burns, stabbing, gunshot wounds, while others had been run over by motor vehicles.

“It does not help anyone to burn down a clinic or a hospital. And should a hospital or a clinic be burned down, government will not be able to afford in the next few years to rebuild any of those facilities because there is no money," she said.

She said many health facilities had enough food to last them for the next few days.

However, they were concerned that they could soon run out of day-to-day staples like bread, milk and fuel if the violence did not stop.

Association officials have met with the SA Petroleum Industry Association, which has agreed to prioritise fuel sales to healthcare workers.

COVID-19 vaccination sites in volatile areas have had to be shut, posing another setback to the inoculation campaign.

The South African Medical Association (Sama) said it was working hard to ensure the necessary support was provided to healthcare workers caught up in the violence sweeping parts of the country.

Health services have been affected and medical facilities have come under even more strain due to a sharp rise in trauma cases stemming from the violence.

The association said it had asked the national and provincial health departments to boost security at all medical facilities.

It's also in talks with a number of organisations to ensure food, medicines and fuel supplies to hospitals are not compromised, but with the closure of parts of the N3 highway, one of the country's busiest road freight arteries, the organisation fears supply issues will arise.

Last week, he tweeted that members of the EFF would take on the SANDF if they were deployed to assist in affected communities.

This week, the same EFF which had been calling for meetings with the president over COVID-19, refused to attend a meeting about the violence, which has broken out.

It accused Ramaphosa of merely a echoing sentiments of the Democratic Alliance, also calling on him to address his party members to stop burning the country.

The EFF statement also chastises the president for using the term “ethnic mobilisation” and then lambasted ministers and ANC leaders who waited for soldiers to clear crowds before visiting affected areas, calling this cowardly and disingenuous.

The EFF continued calling for soldiers to be withdrawn and for a political solution to be sought.

Last week, the EFF opposed the deployment of members of the South African National Defence Force to bolster the police’s efforts in quelling the violence and looting.

The EFF is a party that often said it had the capacity to lead, only if it would be given a chance.

And now as the crisis unfolded in South Africa, its leader Julius Malema continued to distance the party from joining those who seek to do so.

The Economic Freedom Fighters have once again rejected government’s approach to the current crisis unfolding in the country.

In a late-night statement on Wednesday, the party gave reasons for not attending a meeting held by President Cyril Ramaphosa and political parties in the National Assembly to discuss among other things, concerns over food, medicines and fuel shortages.

The party saíd it would not attend “useless meetings and rubber stamp nonsense to solve ANC factional battles”.

In a similar sentiment, the South African Canegrowers Association called on government to declare a state of emergency as violence and destruction escalates in cane-growing areas.

The association said KwaZulu-Natal was not only ground zero for the violent riots, but also the heart of South Africa's sugar industry.

It said the violence and destruction came in the middle of harvesting season and had caused irrecoverable losses to cane growers and workers.

Damage to the sector has been put at 353,000 tons of sugarcane that's been lost to arson attacks.

At R600 per ton, this equated to a revenue loss of more than R211 million.

The association said millers have been equally devastated as all sugar mills in KwaZulu-Natal had been forced to cease operations.

In a briefing on Thursday morning, Busa said that the country faced disruption to supply chains that were essential for the country’s basic functioning, including energy, food and other supplies.

Busa also pleaded with President Cyril Ramaphosa to take the lead in instituting law and order and using the full might of the power and resources at his disposal.

It also called on the president to be present through regular addresses to the nation to demonstrate the government cares about the country’s security.

“This is an emergency unparalleled in our democratic history and requires the state to take immediate action. We believe that this must include a strongly enforced curfew in specific areas to allow law enforcement to regain control,” said Busa president Sipho Pityana.

Business Unity South Africa (Busa) has called on the government to implement a 24-hour curfew in some parts of the country and the full deployment of the army and police, including reservists.

The organisation that represents businesses in the country explained that the cost of the violence and damage to property recently will amount to billions of rands.

“So, our counsellors are really trying to help and offer as much support and comfort during this time, but also putting action plans in place to get people their basic needs. Somewhere safe to stay, something to eat, something to keep them warm. There is so much happening at the moment that they're feeling like they're getting it from all sides,” said Chambers.

“So many people are feeling overwhelmed by everything that's going on, you know feeling really scared and fearful. Very anxious, but also just really scared as to what to what's going to happen next,” said Sadag director Cassey Chambers.

She also said counsellors had been receiving more calls over the last few days from South Africans desperate about where to stay, how they're going to feed their families, and how to stay safe.

Amid the violence, the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) has received an increase in calls from distressed people seeking help.

Malls, businesses, warehouses and factories have been ransacked and vandalised. The cost of all this damage is yet to be determined but is said to be in the billions.

As a result, many jobs are now on the line.

It is not yet clear what plans will be made to open the N3 with the violence in KwaZulu-Natal continuing.

Transporters were attacked even before former President Jacob Zuma was arrested.

Isaac Monokoane, who moves fuel to the Free State and Lesotho, said he decided to wait and see when the violence broke out.

“Trucks are in Durban, some are in Mooi River and others are still at home. It hasn’t been going good,” he said.

Monokoane said some of his clients were Lesotho textile manufactures who make jeans and T-Shirts for the US market and their containers were still in Maseru.

He also said: “We have lost a lot of revenue, so it’s not good.”

This suspension in transport has seen fears of fuel supplies drying up, with long queues at petrol stations, while many have been flooding supermarkets.

These trucks are also involved in the transport of fuel from Durban to neighbouring countries including Lesotho, eSwatini and Botswana as well as goods for export to the US and the EU.

After days of violent looting, transporters in the Southern Africa region on Wednesday said they were beginning to feel the pinch since the N3 was shut down.

Those who transport goods from Johannesburg said they suspended their loads on Sunday.

Meanwhile, construction companies, builders, transport and even psychologists are volunteering their services for free under the banner RebuildSA, as some parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal prepare for mopping up operations.

Communities were now mobilising to offer their time and services to help remove the debris in the shopping centres and malls affected by the looting spree over the last few days.

Talks were also underway to get corporates on board and to set up a fund where South Africans could contribute financially to help businesses get back on their feet.

RebuildSA is a Facebook page created for communities to take back their power and start cleaning up the looted malls, shopping centres and businesses.

More than 24,000 people have joined this group, some from overseas, offering to help financially to help rebuild South Africa after messages of "pray for SA" reached other countries.

Many were offering construction services for free, others were offering food and some even free counselling to those who were simply feeling overwhelmed.

Dineo Khotle-Moalosi was part of a Help Rebuild Soweto group, where volunteers were planning to mop up malls in Dobsonville, Maponya and Diepkloof that were affected by the violence and looting.

"We asked people to come with whatever they have to clean up the malls - brooms, detergents and other cleaning material. The waste can be managed by Pikitup," Khotle-Moalosi said.

While many people have offered to clean up the infrastructure, it's inevitable that some businesses will not be able to reopen their doors, putting people's jobs at risk.

The Department of Mineral Resources and energy has enforced a law, prohibiting South Africans from purchasing petroleum products in portable containers.


The department discouraged members of the public from panic buying and hoarding fuel, saying it would exacerbate current challenges.


On Wednesday, the SA Petroleum Industry Association (Sapia) confirmed that fuel stocks are stable in the country following the disruptions caused by the riots this week.



But the department said it had to implement the regulations prohibiting the sale and dispensing of petrol and diesel into containers in the interest of public safety as the riots continue.


Minister Gwede Mantashe guaranteed South Africans that there were sufficient fuel products and the government was working to secure the movement of all petroleum products.


This was despite the temporary closure of the Sapref refinery in Durban, which Mantashe acknowledged would have ripple effects across the national supply chain.


The department met with the Sapia this week and the Mining Council of SA as government turns to stakeholders including businesses to strengthen partnerships.


According to the agreements reached at the meeting, Sapia will closely monitor the status of the fuel supply chain and advise the department of the mitigation steps taken that could have an impact on the nation.


Meanwhile, the mining council guaranteed the government that despite the ongoing riots, the industry would be able to fulfill its contractual obligations.

Kodwa spoke of a master plan painting a picture of a force aimed to destabilise government run by President Cyril Ramaphosa, who he said has been tackling corruption.
Police Minister Bheki Cele said there were between 10 to 12 instigators whom they hoped to arrest. But Kodwa said there were more people organising the plot.
Kodwa admitted that the deployment of 2,500 soldiers in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng was not nearly enough but vowed that government was on top of the security situation in the country.
He said they would continue to stop any attempts to destabilise the state's security..

State Security Deputy Minister Zizi Kodwa said on Thursday they received intelligence information even before former President Jacob Zuma's imprisonment about a "big plot" for domestic instability and popular revolt - with right wing elements at play.
Kodwa said they established that instigators were planning to first target the "distribution and supply" of water, fuel and airports to cut off resources to communities.
The deputy minister said the second part of the plan from criminal organisers was to encourage communities to rise up with "popular revolt", with most who are looting not even understanding that there is a bigger plan at play.

The number of soldiers deployed to help quash rampant looting and arson in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal is set to be increased ten-fold.

Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said she had asked President Cyril Ramaphosa to order the deployment of 25,000 soldiers in the strife-torn provinces.

The minister was addressing Parliament’s joint Standing Committee on Defence on Wednesday night.

The initial deployment was 2,500 troops. On Wednesday afternoon, acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni told reporters that 5,000 defence force members had already been sent to the two provinces.

Mapisa-Nqakula said President Ramaphosa was unhappy that only 2,500 soldiers had been deployed and proposed 10,000.

Meanwhile, opposition party leaders he met with on Wednesday all backed deploying 75,000, including reserve forces – the number said to have been deployed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mapisa-Nqakula said they sought a middle way between the two numbers: “So we’ve now submitted a request for deployment of plus, minus 25,000 members.”

It’s clear that the government is also planning a show of force: “Because we believe that visibility should not just be visibility of warm bodies, it should be visibility of vehicles, it should be visibility of helicopters – helicopter patrols. So that is what we are trying to do,” the defence minister said.

It’s unclear how long it will take for the deployment of all 25,000 defence force members in the battle to restore order.

Mapisa-Nqakula said it could not happen overnight as troops were stationed all over the country.

Parliament’s joint Standing Committee on Defence will reconvene in two or three days to consider the plan once it is finalised.


Mapisa-Nqakula has admitted that police and her department were caught unawares by attacks launched on malls by looters and vandals.

She told the committee that neither the army nor the police had any intelligence that a wave of arson and looting at shopping centres was about to unfold.

She said as a peacetime deployment, troops were sent where the police needed support – and were put on guard at national key points.

“This was an eye opener for us in the security cluster. This was a learning curve, and we were nearly caught with – I don’t want to say our pants down - but that’s a reality, I think that’s what happened.”

Mapisa-Nqakula said information obtained from social media was 90% accurate in identifying planned road closures.

“Where we did not get information, was the fact that people were going to go into the malls and loot… we did not have that information. At least on our side, and from what I am getting, even the police did not have that information.”

Asked about the quality of intelligence the Department of Defence received the minister was hesitant.

“There was intelligence, I think – but it came in too late.”

Mapisa-Nqakula said what was happening must stop: “What we see here are seeds of counter-revolution, undermining of the state and the state must exert its authority.”

The number of soldiers deployed to help quash rampant looting and arson in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal is set to be increased ten-fold.

Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said she had asked President Cyril Ramaphosa to order the deployment of 25,000 soldiers in the strife-torn provinces.

The minister was addressing Parliament’s joint Standing Committee on Defence on Wednesday night.

The initial deployment was 2,500 troops. On Wednesday afternoon, acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni told reporters that 5,000 defence force members had already been sent to the two provinces.

Mapisa-Nqakula said President Ramaphosa was unhappy that only 2,500 soldiers had been deployed and proposed 10,000.

Meanwhile, opposition party leaders he met with on Wednesday all backed deploying 75,000, including reserve forces – the number said to have been deployed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mapisa-Nqakula said they sought a middle way between the two numbers: “So we’ve now submitted a request for deployment of plus, minus 25,000 members.”

It’s clear that the government is also planning a show of force: “Because we believe that visibility should not just be visibility of warm bodies, it should be visibility of vehicles, it should be visibility of helicopters – helicopter patrols. So that is what we are trying to do,” the defence minister said.

It’s unclear how long it will take for the deployment of all 25,000 defence force members in the battle to restore order.

Mapisa-Nqakula said it could not happen overnight as troops were stationed all over the country.

Parliament’s joint Standing Committee on Defence will reconvene in two or three days to consider the plan once it is finalised.

Thousands of people have participated in criminality, including starting fires on the roads, burning private property and looting shops.

Many law-abiding citizens were now struggling to buy day-to-day items like fuel, bread and milk.

Some residents in eThekwini said that they were concerned about the long-term consequences of the looting sprees and violence that had rocked the province over the past week.

A state of emergency can be enforced under Section 37 of the Constitution as a last measure in a crisis and can only be declared when the security of the country is threatened by war, invasion, general insurrection and disorder during a national disaster to restore peace and order.

However, it is unclear what the government could possibly achieve with a declaration of a state of emergency, as opposed to the current state of disaster which was brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the government said that it was too early to declare a state of emergency over the looting and lawlessness witnessed since the weekend, many commentators in society have equally been calling for such action.

Early assessments revealed that looting damage at its Pietermaritzburg site amounted to R18 million and at R61 million in losses were suffered at the Newcastle depot.

Management was worried that these criminal acts would spill over to other depots in the area.

South African Breweries has had to beef up security at its depots after they were targeted during the ongoing looting.

SAB said that its depots in KZN had been hit hard during the looting sprees, with its Pietermaritzburg and Newcastle depots suffered tremendous damages.

The South African Breweries (SAB) has suffered nearly R80 million in damages due to ongoing riots in KwaZulu-Natal.

Diepkloof Square has been like a ghost town and a rubbish dump in one.

From the entrance, shoes, hangers and plastic bags ransacked from the shops fill the parking lot.

While more residents in Soweto have heeded the call to defend their properties, others are now leading the clean-up following widespread looting on Monday.

At the Diepkloof Square Mall, security officials had returned and owners were assessing the damage.

Joburg:  A total number of 111 accused persons facing charges ranging from public violence, housebreaking with intent to commit an offence, theft, contravention of the Disaster Management Act, robbery with aggravating circumstances and possession of suspected stolen items. All accused were remanded in custody to various dates ranging from 19/07/2021 to 27/07/2021 for further investigations and possible bail applications.

As per instruction from the national office of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for Directors of Public Prosecutions (DPPs) to allocate these matters to experienced prosecutors that will be working closely with the South African Police Service (SAPS) to guide investigations into these unrest cases, the NPA in the GLD has made inroads regarding several dockets that were brought to the various lower courts of the division as follows:

The alleged perpetrators of the unrests that ravaged Gauteng since Monday, 11 July 2021 appeared in various courts within the Gauteng Local Division (GLD) yesterday, 13 July 2021. 

The king’s address also comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa - criticised what he called “ethnic mobilisation”.

AmaZulu King MisuZulu kaZwelithini has appealed to the Zulu nation and residents of KwaZulu-Natal to end the looting and mayhem and for peace to be restored.


The monarch made the appeal during a national address in the wake of the ongoing unrest and looting in KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng.


The briefing has ended.

Police do not have enough equipment because the level of violence was not anticipated.

On a state of emergency, she says only the president can declare that.

Ntshavheni says the Durban harbour is being protected.

Ntshavheni says it's difficult to deploy the army, but 5,000 SANDF members are on ground.

Government has ordered that petrol not be sold in carry containers to avoid anyone starting illegal fires.

Government is working with the private sector to rebuild the economy, especially with youth unemployment.

WATCH: Government feedback on riots. 

Government conveys their thanks to all those who have helped restore calm and order.

Government is working with different sectors to bring an idea to the violence.

Media and communities are cautioned to not share sensitive info from law enforcement.

Government is also concerned about communities personally taking up arms to protect premises.

Government urges communities to remain calm as panic buying surges, which risks the spread of COVID-19.

Minister Ntshavheni is live now. She says law enforcement are working tirelessly to restore order. 208 incidents of looting have been reported overnight - 156 in Gauteng, 52 in KZN.

The Independent Community Pharmacy Association’s CEO Jackie Maimin said that the looting was not isolated and 47 of their member pharmacies have been completely looted, including corporate sites like Clicks and Dis-Chem.

The Independent Community Pharmacy Association (ICPA) said that close to 50 pharmacies had been completely looted, including thousands of vaccines.

Vaccines and chronic medication haven’t been spared in the ongoing looting with scores of pharmacies destroyed in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

The President said the destruction witnessed by the nation hurt all South Africans, not only those in the affected areas, and it hurt the poor, the elderly and the vulnerable the most.

Today’s meeting was part of a series of consultations undertaken by the President in the past two days with different sectors of society to develop a society-wide response to the current outbreaks of public violence and economic damage.

The President held an online engagement today with leaders of political parties represented in the National Assembly, including the African National Congress, Democratic Alliance, Inkatha Freedom Party, United Democratic Movement, Freedom Front Plus, Congress of the People, African Christian Democratic Party, the Good Party, Al-Jamah, the African Transformation Movement, National Freedom Party and the Pan Africanist Congress.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has told the leaders of South Africa’s political parties that government is intensifying its efforts and working in partnership with civil society to stem public violence affecting various parts of the country.

UPDATE: King Misuzulu is yet to speak more than 1hr 30 min later. Meanwhile, acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni will give feedback from government engagements at 4pm. 

JUST IN: Another teen has been killed. 

Government will brief the nation this afternoon. 

On Tuesday, Primedia Broadcasting CEO chairperson, Geraint Cryws-Williams, challenged the broadcasting industry to help rebuild the station.

The company pledged R50,000 to assist Alex FM.

The Alexandra-based community station was one of a handful of community stations that was not spared during violent looting in the township on Monday and Tuesday.

A day after suffering devastating damage that resulted in about R5 million in precious equipment lost, South Africa's oldest community radio station, Alex FM, is receiving help in the form of funds and a place that it can broadcast from for now.

Many malls and shops across KZN and GP are looking like this.

WATCH: Pimville residents in Soweto are marching in the streets to defend their township from looting and violence.

The DA says in the days leading up to the Jacob Zuma’s arrest, as well as after his imprisonment, his children on various occasions shared views in the press and on social media that appeared to encourage the violence that's swept KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

The DA has laid a criminal complaint against EFF Leader Julius Malema as well as three of former President Jacob Zuma's children for allegedly inciting violence.
 The party’s Glynis Breytenbach filed the complaint against Malema, as well as Duduzile Zuma-Sambudla, Edward Zuma and Duduzane Zuma at Cape Town Police Station this morning.
 Breytenbach says they took to social media to spur on the violence currently unfolding in the Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

But they're fake, so said authorities. Many photos and videos of violent protests circulating are old.

Western Cape Police Commissioner Thembisile Patekile said as many officers as possible had been deployed.

“We activated our plans last night, all the districts and all the municipalities have to pass on the command and they are back on the streets. The personnel that was in the offices are all on the streets, what we’ve done was collapse the shifts to make maximum deployment,” he said.

The Western Cape Provincial Disaster Management Centre said fake news about riots and violence spreading to the province was causing unnecessary panic.

Messages have been shared widely on social media warning of people of looting.

Its KZN warehouse has been ransacked and vandalised, leaving them with no stock and forcing its closure.

Managing Director Andy du Plessis said it was the poor who relied on meals from the NGOs they supply who would be hit the hardest.

Many companies have had to close shop due to safety concerns. Over 1,200 people have been arrested and more than 70 others have died in the violence.

FoodForward SA supplies over 1,200 NGOs, providing more than 4 million meals a month to the poor.

Several warehouses have been looted in KwaZulu-Natal as factories continue to be targeted during the ongoing crime wave.

FoodForward SA is one of them and the NGO's KZN warehouse has been vandalised on Wednesday, forcing it to shut down operations.

Mhaga says while South Africans have the right to express discontent through peaceful protests, riots, and criminal looting undermine the rule of law and will damage the country’s economy at a time when it’s in the grips of a debilitating third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mhaga says they are working closely with relevant government departments – particularly the police – to ensure full and transparent accountability for anyone accused of committing crimes linked to the violence, riots and looting.

Both the NDPP and the leadership of the NPA are monitoring developments to better organise the prosecuting authority to respond appropriately.

NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga says the directors of public prosecutions in affected divisions have been advised to prioritise these matters and to refer the cases to prosecutors with the requisite experience.  

These prosecutors must then work with and guide police in their investigations.

Meanwhile, there has been strong condemnation by the National Directorate of Public Prosecutions (NDPPof the lawlessness and criminality ravaging the country as scores of people have been arrested in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng during the sporadic violence and looting that continues in parts of South Africa.

Mhlanga says while the army is in the streets dealing with the immediate threats, what the nation really needs to focus on – if it is to extricate itself from this situation quickly – is strengthening the country’s intelligence capacity.

While the government insists the intelligence community has done its work, saying the situation could have been worse without the work of the State Security Agency, Mhlanga says they do not have the strong analytical capacity needed to curb the wide-scale looting.

“You do environmental scans. You go to those areas which are volatile.”

A former state security advisor says those who encouraged the violence should have known how quickly it could get out of control.

But he says, in this case, what was meant to be used as a bargaining chip found purchase in an already frustrated population. 

According to Mhlanga, one can produce a detailed plan on where to organise – who to recruit and deploy – to agitate across different communities.

Lloyd Mhlanga says those who encouraged the initial action were doing so to ladle on the political pressure following Jacob Zuma's incarceration.

But before long, that fuelled an existing fire that led to looting, destruction, and violence that will cost the country billions.

Dlodlo’s police counterpart Bheki Cele says the social media instigators are being investigated.

But as ministers try defending government, the country remains on edge with fears of further anarchy and concerns the violence will spread.

Dlodlo refuses to accept that the country’s intelligence structures failed spectacularly in predicting the lawlessness.

The minister has defended law enforcement agencies saying they were not missing in action as the looting and unrest raged out of control.

State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo says authorities are going after those inciting the mayhem that's ravaging parts of the country.

“I pay salaries, I have a 14-year-old in school, I have a bond. I am gutted…I am finished. I feel much better now than in the morning,” said the Soweto business owner. 

Johnson fears she will have to shut down the business which has been a lifeline for her and her five employees.

“If we are expected to do everything ourselves there is no way I can do afford to fix this and get stock. Financially, I am unable to do that. I will have to close down.”

“I don’t think we are insured here [Diepkloof Square Mall] because the lease says for riots we are not covered. You should have your own insurance.”

Johnson tried to salvage what was left of her business, but there isn’t much. 

The 55-year-old started her small party-shop business in 2009 and moved into the Diepkloof Square Mall, which was ransacked by looters on Tuesday, in 2016. 

She employs five people, but she has no insurance. 

Thandi Johnson opened her party business at the Diepkloof Mall five years ago,  and in one day she lost R500,000 in stock.

At the same time, small business owners in Soweto – who don’t have insurance – say it will be impossible for them to bounce back. 

Community members braved the cold weather and spent the whole night guarding the shopping centre, to protect what is left of the township’s key contributors to the township's economy. 

They are stationed at the main entrance of the mall saying no criminals will be allowed in. 

Residents of Pimville in Soweto have formed a human shield at the Maponya Mall in to prevent sporadic incidents of looting.

Residents of Pimville in Soweto have formed a human shield at the Maponya Mall to prevent sporadic incidents of looting.

One such group is Rebuild SA, a Facebook group started on Tuesday as members of the national army, police, security companies and civilians try and restore law and order in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

By Tuesday evening, it had around 2,000 members.

 'How can I help?' 'Where and when are meeting?' 'I can offer material'. These are some of the posts popping up on various Facebook and WhatsApp groups where dedicated citizens are rallying each other to help rebuild from the ashes and carnage of the last two days.

Amid more ongoing and widespread looting, Netcare hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal have had to scramble to ensure they had enough medical supplies to operate on Tuesday.

Looters targeted one of the hospital group's biggest suppliers.

Netcare CEO Dr Richard Friedland: "Our major supplier of pharmaceutical goods had their distribution centre looted and so we've had to fly in emergency goods late this afternoon and we'll continue to do so to ensure that we maintain services."

The shops closed but looters shattered windows. By the time the police arrived, they only stood outside and watched.

“I’m out of words because each and every tenant has to assess and see the way forward but most of the people have lost their jobs, there are more than 1,000 people employed here," Sibiya said.

Jabulani Sibiya is the centre manager at the Diepkloof Square Mall.

He said that he started seeing danger on Monday morning and called the police but they never came.

Sasria, South Africa’s life insurance company that provides coverage for damage caused by special risks such as politically motivated malicious acts and riots said that the nation must rest assured that they’ve got a handle on the current situation.

Sasria executive for insurance operations, Fareedah Benjamin, told Eyewitness News that it is adequately capitalised and backed by international reinsurers to facilitate all claims payments.

The South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef) condemned what it called thuggery in these communities.

"It is a sad day when properties are vandalised by criminals purporting to have a cause to fight for, yet they choose to use violence and vandalism to achieve that cause. The two stations are now battling to get back on air and serve their communities as broadcasting equipment, among other assets, have been stolen," the forum said in a statement.

As businesses in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal begin to evaluate the damage done to their properties during widespread violence and looting, the Alex FM community station estimated that destruction to its property was worth around R5 million.

Makhura on Tuesday visited a Meadowlands mall that earlier in the day became the scene of a deadly stampede.

Ten people were crushed to death when looters surged forward.

The looters have been indiscriminate in who they've targeted, as Gauteng Premier David Makhura explains: “I get this story quite a lot; people think that this is just targeting big companies but the impact on the township economy is quite severe.”

As the body count rises, it seems that the township economy will be among the casualties of the criminal wave.

Nationwide, more than 45 people have died as mobs target shops, businesses and trucks in various parts.

WATCH: Speaking on 13 July 2021, Minister of Police Bheki Cele said that the police were monitoring the riots and looting that has gripped parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. Cele also gave an update on the number of arrests that had been made so far and said those instigating the riots would also have to answer to the law.

But things have gotten worse thanks to events of the past few days, as CEO Lesia explains: "Before the protest started, on average, we were seeing about 60 patients in a 24-hour period. But since the protests started, the number has tripled."

Like many health facilities around the province, the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital was hoping to see a reduction in trauma cases and free some much-needed bed space with the extension of level 4 lockdown

Just outside the academic hospital in Diepkloof on Monday, a mob of looters ransacked businesses, one of them a liquor store owned by a popular chain.

Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said that the country did not need to go into a state of emergency as a result of looting and unrest.

Security cluster ministers have also commended law enforcement for averting what they claimed could have been a worse situation.

Communities in 7 of the other provinces largely unaffected by the looting are rallying together to protect malls, properties, homes and other businesses. 

Westside FM CEO Goodhope Ledwaba said that looters broke the doors and windows and also stole important broadcasting equipment.

The station operated from Kagsiso Mall, one of the malls that was targeted.

Alex FM's Kabelo Kehalotswe said that studio computers and audio equipment were stolen, while the property was damaged.

Two radio stations in Johannesburg have been looted as unrest continued in parts of the city.

Alexandra community radio stations, Alex FM and Westside FM were broken into and vandalised on Tuesday morning.

The African National Congress (ANC) is talking to the family of former President Jacob Zuma in a bid to try calm down their anger after his imprisonment.

It said that the forced closure of key centres of economic activity would result in further job losses as many businesses will not survive the violence compounded with the impact of COVID-19.

"While the right to protest is a right that is guaranteed to all, no one person or group has the right to kill, destroy, steal and burn down the businesses and property of others while endangering their fellow citizens," said Tholo Makhaola, the president of the SAIBPP.

The South African Institute of Black Property Professionals (SAIBPP) said that while the glaring inequality in the country fueled looting from shopping centres built near disadvantaged communities, there was no justification for the recent violence that had claimed several lives.

Mabuyane said that he was extremely concerned about the looting and riots playing out in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane said that authorities were probing the origin of the messages received and would work to arrest the ring leaders of that campaign.

Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane on Tuesday said that he'd requested that the SANDF be placed on high alert.

This after seeing messages from people trying to mobilise residents and orchestrate incidents of violence.

Western Cape Police Commissioner Thembisile Patekile said that while the situation in this province remained calm, the SAPS was on high alert.

This as communities across Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal remained volatile following days of looting, rioting and violence.

Ministers in the cluster gave an update on Tuesday on the state’s response to the ongoing looting in Gauteng and KZN.

Government’s security cluster has issued a stern warning to instigators of the ongoing unrest saying they will be arrested.

State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo on Tuesday said intelligence agents were investigating information that former state security officials linked to former President Jacob Zuma were instigating violence in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

Makhura concedes that law enforcement response has been lacking.

JUST IN: An 11th person has been confirmed dead in Meadowlands.

Makhura says looting is not the solution to unemployment.

MEC Faith Mazibuko says 6 of the dead were found in one shop. "It's very sad," they say.

Two people were gunned down in Harare while a driver was wounded. In another unrelated matter, a body of a man was found in the driver’s seat in Symphony Way near Blikkiesdorp.

In the Western Cape, police are investigating several shooting incidents, believed to be related to taxi violence, in parts of Cape Town on Tuesday where three people were killed and four wounded.

"The impact on the township economy is quite severe."

"Serious set back on our economy," Makhura says.

Schools have also been looted.

Makhura says the looting undermining the work to rebuild the economy. He says he can't say the situation is under control.

Makhura says this takes the number of dead in Gauteng to 19. 

BREAKING NEWS: 10 people have lost their lives at Ndofaya Mall in Meadowlands during looting, says Premier David Makhura.

"Health services, vaccination has slowed down,"

"This looting and violence is something that needs to stop." Makhura tells the SABC's Chriselda Lewis as he does a walkabout with police. 

Premier Makhura has arrived in Meadowlands.

WATCH LIVE: Gauteng Premier David Makhura is on Tuesday giving an update on his government's response to riots in parts of the province.

Members of the SAPS have been battling to contain the riots and looting have which swept across parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

EFF leader Julius Malema insists that a political solution should be sought – and has even threatened to pit his own party members against the SANDF.

Meanwhile, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has written to the Presidency questioning the deployment of the army back on the streets.

The party has fired off a legal letter through its attorneys, giving President Cyril Ramaphosa until the end of business today to provide more details behind the decision.  

The Major-General said while he could not guarantee that there would not be any incidents of misconduct, there are measures in place to deal with that. 

Speaking on behalf of the South African National Defence Force, Major General Siphiwe Sangweni said SAPS and other law enforcement agencies will do their work and the military will carry out a supportive role. 

“Currently, as we are deployed, the members have been trained and empowered in terms of conducting themselves accordingly. We also have a code of conduct that governs us on how we must conduct ourselves.” 

He says there was COVID scare and protocols that needed to be followed.

“The results that came in this morning, we are negative. Don’t think that we are not working when you don’t see us.”

Dlodlo’s colleague, Police Minister Bheki Cele says he has been on the ground working.

“That you don’t see us on Tv doesn’t mean that we are not working…unfortunately there is a lot of work that can’t be brought on Tv or to press briefings before things are done.”

The minister said Westville prison and the ANC headquarters in KwaZulu-Natal were among some of the areas that were reportedly targeted for violence or attacks. 

Dlodlo mentions that law enforcement was able to quell a possible attack in Sandton. She gave examples of other areas where alleged planned attacks were foiled. 

“There’s quite a few examples I could give on Gauteng but I am not going to elaborate on that…the electricity substation in Newhomes in the uMsunduzi Municipality was supposed to have been attacked on 12 July; that information was given to the police and they were able to deal with it.”

The minister says SSA is looking at the possibility of eruptions of attacks on foreign nationals and right-wing extremism. 

“I am not saying that foreign nationals are going to get hurt, I am just saying that this is something we are looking at.”

Dlodlo admits there may have been information missed ‘here and there’, but she stresses that it is the information supplied to the police, enabling them to act accordingly. 
“We work around the clock with the police, we do monitor social media [and] where we should monitor in terms of the movement of those that we know are inciting the violence through other mediums. We are following up on that and that information is being fed into a system that will ensure that people will be put behind bars.” 

“Intelligence has done the best that it could,” she reiterates. 

“I will categorically refuse to acknowledge an untruth that that was spectacular failure by intelligence…We have supplied the information to law enforcement to do its work.”

Minister Dlodlo says they are serious about apprehending those that are responsible for inciting violence. 
“I would like to cite the section of the Constitution that speaks to freedom of expression and go to the part that this right of freedom of expression is not extended to propaganda of war, incitement of eminent violence or advocacy of hatred that is based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion; and that constitutes incitement to cause harm.”

Cele has called on communities not to take the law into their own hands but to rather work together with law enforcement agencies.

“Don’t go beyond and create parallel structures, working outside the recognised structures. It must be avoided at all costs that this becomes a racial war.”

Cele said the process should not just end with arrests, and that people should be prosecuted. 

Police Minister Bheki Cele says the agitators of the violence will be arrested. 

He said 30 more people had been arrested since the earlier announcement of 757 arrests.

“Around those people, we will have to get the agitators. That is exactly what the law enforcement agencies to sift those who are taken by mob spirits, and those who are planners and organisers.”

Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said while citizens may be in a state of panic over the current riots in the country, the President would make the call – should the need arise. 

However, she said there was no need for it. 

“For now, there is no indication that there should be a state of emergency.”

Dlodlo said the State Security Agency (SSA) was not ‘missing in action’. 

“The target was very fast moving. We tried our best wherever we could, and we averted a lot more than what you see on national television.”

State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo said there was information-sharing between officials and the police. 

“South Africans need to understand that only so much can be done with the information that is at hand.”

Cele has reminded South Africans that the country is currently in the third wave of the coronavirus, with infections continuing to increase. He warned that the mass gatherings risked causing a rapid rise in the number of infections, as the delta variant dominates. 

“Law enforcement officers are also going to ensure the mass adherence to the adjusted level 4 lockdown regulations that has now extended by another two weeks.”

Just in - 757 people have now been arrested in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. 
Police Minister Bheki Cele said on Tuesday mass looting hotspots are under "strong surveillance" and that no one will be allowed to make a "mockery out of the country's democracy"
The Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster is currently briefing the media about the violence gripping the two provinces.
Cele says they are deploying more officers on the ground and asked South Africans to refrain from taking part in the riots.

The police minister made a plea to members of the public with any reliable information to report acts of violence and intimidation to the police.

"We urge all communities and groups to reject any call for violence and to make the country ungovernable."

"No amount of unhappiness from our people gives the right to anyone to loot, vandalise and do as they please and break the law"

Cele called on the public to exercise restraint and ensure that innocent civilians are not harmed. 

"We cannot allow anyone to make a mockery of our democratic state. " 

He added that law enforcement agencies have been instructed to double their efforts to stop the violence.

He said ministers in the cluster were satisfied with the reports that they had received, and they were confident that officers are able to do their job effectively. 

Police Minister Bheki Cele said law enforcement have used intelligence information to respond ‘with speed’ to issues on the ground and attending to potential hotspot areas. 

The intelligence information has provided timeous, critical and sometimes unique analysis information to give early warning signs of potential risk and dangers.”

The Justice and Crime Prevention Cluster is briefing media on the response to nationwide riots. 

The association's chief executive officer Vivienne Pearson said they condemn the acts of criminality and vandalism.

“We would like to encourage everyone to liaise with trusted sources of information, to make better travelling arrangements, while prioritising safety by only when it is safe or when it is really necessary to do so.”

The South African Insurance Association has called for extreme vigilance and caution amid the growing pillage and damage to properties.

This comes as crowds continue looting stores and businesses in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. 

The justice, crime prevention, and security cluster is expected to brief the media this morning on the containment of violent protests taking place in some parts of the country. 

The cluster will outline the measures to deal with the situation and restore law and order in all affected areas.

When asked if he feared for his own safety, Zikalala said he would not be forced to retreat from doing work around the province.

“I am more concerned about the safety of us in KZN, and in South Africa as a whole.”

Zikalala said there were genuine calls for the former president to be released from jail, and that these must be heard.

"....these must be listened to, but it must be done and advanced peacefully and within the law. There is nothing wrong with people who call for the release of former president if they do so within the law, and not disrupting other people or interfering with the rights of other people." 

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

Zikalala said 26 people had been killed around the province. He added nothing pained him more than hearing that a 15-year-old was among the dead. 

“Areas that have been affected by deaths; we will provide a list that will present areas that have been affected. But there are a number of areas”

The Premier has condemned attacks on journalists. He said they play an important role of informing the public on developments around the country. 

“We want to condemn attacks on anyone, and this must not be racialised by anyone.”

He said the former president, who is currently serving a 15-month jail sentence at the Estcourt Correctional Services Centre in KZN, played a pivotal role in forging unity among political parties in the province. 
"Zuma played a pivotal role in KZN in bringing unity and peace in KZN, and SA."

Speaking in isiZulu, the KZN premier said supporters of Jacob Zuma should use lawful means to express their call for the former president to be released from prison. 

"Looting doesn't represent the name of Zuma. Let's work together in fighting for Zuma's releasewithout breaking the law."

Zikalala has lamented the damage to property and infrastructure in the province and warned that those who will suffer are communities in townships at rural areas. 

The KwaZulu-Natal govern has estimated the cost of the damage to be over R100 million.

In KwaZulu-Natal, Premier Sihle Zikalala is giving a media briefing on Tuesday morning as riots continue in the province.

The President has said he will meet with traditional leaders, trade unionists, political parties, and others to try negotiating a way out of the hazardous situation. 

Premier David Makhura has stressed the province and the country are still in the midst of a deadly pandemic, and he remains concerned about a potential surge in coronavirus cases.

Makhura’s spokesperson Vuyo Mahaga said: “The current situation has seen the people of Gauteng struggling to get to their places of employment due to limited access, and services being disrupted across the province. Hospital admissions continue to increase and are placing a heavy strain on the healthcare system in both the public and private sector.”

Gauteng provincial Health authorities said that Emergency Medical Services teams also had trouble in responding to distress calls in communities.

Meanwhile, the sporadic looting has forced the temporary closure of some Gauteng COVID-19 vaccination sites in communities impacted by the violence. 

Looters even attacked a South African National Blood Bank branch, footage of which was shared on live television as the president was speaking.

The President warned that some parts of the country could face food and medical shortages due to the impact of the protests on the broader economy. 

“Shops have been looted and infrastructure has been destroyed. Our sick cannot get medication from pharmacies, food has not reached supermarket shelves, and health workers cannot go to work.” 

There have been reports that some of the joint efforts with business may include the deployment of private security to unstable areas. 

President Ramaphosa said Business Unity South Africa and the government are developing coordinated plans to ensure the safety of drivers, cashiers, patients, and customers. 

“We agreed to share information, as well as resources, to ensure that there are still key supply chains that drive our economy and improve our livelihoods.”

Yesterday, Business Unity South Africa and the Black Business Council warned of the devastating impact of the lawlessness on jobs and the economy – especially small-medium enterprises.

Other shopping malls in Soweto that have been affected include Dobsonville, Pennyville, Baragwanath Taxi Rank, and Ndofaya Mall.

Police remain on high alert after looting also continued in Meadowlands where some residents are picking up what is left over after a day of running battles between officers and looters on Monday. Others can be seen attempting to break several ATMs in the area.

Traffic has been disrupted in parts of Soweto, with reports of looting at Diepkloof Square this morning. 

Fihla also said, "There are also reports that Pan Africa Mall in Alexandra was also looted. Officers have been deployed to monitor problematic spots in the north of Joburg."

The Johannesburg Metro Police Department's Xolani Fihla said looters targeted Bambanani mall in Diepsloot and the Pan African Mall in Alexandra. 

"Following the ongoing unrest and looting in the City of Johannesburg, there were sporadic incidents where looters attempted to break into Bambanani Mall in Diepsloot and the Cashbuild in Diepsloot was set alight."

Looting has continued in parts of Johannesburg overnight with overstretched police called out to scenes in the north and south of the city.

The NatJOINTS has welcomed the deployment of the South African National Defence Force personnel in support of the operations of the South African Police Service.

NatJOINTS has also intensified deployments to all affected areas in the two provinces. 

“These [deployments] will be augmented by the SAPS’s measures being put in place to call up operational members from leave and rest-days to increase the presence of law enforcement personnel on the ground,” said spokesperson Brenda Muridili. 

It also said continued violence had resulted in an increase in the number of fatalities, with three deaths reported in KZN and six in Gauteng.

In a statement released on Tuesday the structure said, as at 8 pm on Monday night, 166 people had been arrested in KwaZulu-Natal while 323 had been arrested in Gauteng. 

The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NatJOINTS) has said 489 people have been arrested in the ongoing riots. 

The N3 toll route has been closed to all traffic between KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng on Tuesday morning. Motorists have been warned to avoid travelling on the whole of the N3 until further notice. 

President Ramaphosa said the interventions are vital for restoring calm and stability while preventing further loss of life or injury and protecting property and safeguarding social and economic infrastructure.

WATCH: Ramaphosa authorises the deployment of the SANDF to assist police

The soldiers’ deployment ends on 12 October, according to a Government Gazette issued on Monday night.

The President has confirmed that he authorised the deployment of 2,500 members of the South African National Defence Force officials to communities to support the police’s operations.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has said the government is mobilising all its available resources and capabilities to restore peace in troubled parts of the country.

Speaking during last night’s address to the nation on the anarchy that has claimed lives and destroyed livelihoods – he said the national joint operational and intelligence structure has intensified deployments in affected areas in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

The measures to be outlined include the recent deployment of the defence force to act as force multiplier to the existing law enforcement agencies who have been dealing with these criminal acts.

Following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address to the nation on 12, July 2021; Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) Cluster will brief the media on the containment of violent protests taking place in some parts of the country. The cluster will outline the measures underway to deal with the situation and restore law and order in all affected areas. 

"Together we will defeat those that seek to destabilise our country... We will stand as one."

"We will reject violence and chaos so that we can move forward. We are building up and not shutting down."

"We must commit ourselves, not only to peace but to greater economic opportunity for all."

Vaccinations have been stopped in parts of the country.

Some healthcare workers have had to stay away from work out of fear of being caught in the crossfire.

Four police officers are in hospital recovering from injuries.

He thanks law enforcement for limiting loss of life.

Ramaphosa says we should refrain from posting inflammatory messages and rumours on social media.

Arrangements are being made for government leaders, mayors, MPs, MPLs to meet with community leaders to bring about stability. Ramaphosa will meet with political party leaders.

Ministers in the economic and security clusters have met with Business Unity SA to take stock of what has happened and what needs to be done.

Ramaphosa says each of us must stand up for rule of law.

"We will take action to protect every person in this country against violence and threats..."

The prosecution of those involved in violence will be prioritised.

Ramaphosa has authorised the deployment of the SANDF to support police.

Ramaphosa says it is vital that we rest calm and prevent any more loss of life and destruction.

The path of violence leads to more violence, devastation, poverty and more innocent loss of life. "This is not who we are as South Africans. This is not us."

Ramaphosa says we risk and medication and food insecurity in a few weeks. 

Ramaphosa says the victims of businesses and those who died have done nothing to deserve this.
 "The poor and the marginalised bear the ultimate of the destruction underway."

Ramaphosa says many died fighting for rule of law to become a reality in democratic SA.

Ramaphosa says no political cause can justify the violence we are seeing.

Ramaphosa says the riots may have started as political anger and ethical mobilisation but what we are seeing now are opportunistic acts of criminality. 

"Violence is continuing in many parts of KZN and Gauteng."

He recounts where the riots started and how they moved to Gauteng.

Ramaphosa says we've never such in the history of our democracy.

"Many more South Africans are feeling anxious and afraid tonight."

"Many South Africans are counting the cost of the loss."

"The loss of human life is the greatest cost of all. Our thoughts and prayers are with these families."

He says shops have been looted, workers are scared they may not be able to return to work. There are several homes that are in deep mourning. Ramaphosa names some of the people that have been killed.

Ramaphosa is live now.

ICYMI: President Cyril Ramaphosa has attributed some of the forces behind the recent riots to ethnic mobilisation.

Although the president offered no evidence to back up this statement, he told the nation during Sunday night’s address that this must be condemned by all citizens.

The address has been moved to 8:30pm.

WATCH LIE: Ramaphosa's address

"Where it is driven by pure criminality, it must be condemned outright. However, the Foundation believes that much of it is driven by desperation and hunger. Far too many South Africans have been pushed over the edge by the terrible knock to the economy that has come in the form of Covid-19. Recent research shows that 13-million people in South Africa are unable to feed themselves, of which three-million are children."

The Foundation has many times condemned Zuma’s repeated flouting of the rule of law. "It is this which led to the Constitutional Court to sentence him to 15 months’ incarceration for contempt of court," it says.


"We do not believe that all the destructive behaviour we have witnessed in the days since Zuma was jailed is linked to his incarceration. Where violence is linked to the former president’s jailing, we urge our fellows to consider that these acts do Zuma’s cause no good, they simply devastate lives and livelihoods."

The Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation calls for restraint from all sides now that the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has been deployed to quell the violence, destruction and looting that has erupted across KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng in the past few days.

The Minister of Police has been notably absent in recent days.

Bheki Cele is often the first to visit areas where crimes have taken place but he's yet to make an appearance in KwaZulu-Natal or Gauteng.

ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte held a briefing on the outcomes of the party's NEC meeting. Here she talks about the riots and tweets from party members such Duduzile Zuma-Sambudla, former president Jacob Zuma's daughter.

Canal Walk Shopping Centre has also roped in additional security and management said it would not hesitate to close the centre should an immediate threat arise.

No signs of riots have been reported at any shopping centre.

Vangate Mall in Athlone earlier on Monday requested all tenants to discontinue trade with immediate effect.

Centre management said that additional security and riot control were on standby should violence spill over to the Western Cape.

South Africa already has an unemployment rate of over 40% and is running a national budget deficit of about R500 billion.

With businesses looted, destroyed and unable to function during the violence, the Black Business Council said that small to medium business enterprises and their value chains had suffered the greatest losses.

Businesses have warned that the anarchy taking place in several parts of the country would lead to job losses and economic damage.

SASSA started with their monthly payments last week on the 6th for older persons, followed by disability grants on the 7th. From the 8th all other grants payments were made.  The cash pay points started being services from today, 12 July.  

Beneficiaries are urged to remain calm and await communication as to when the payment at pay points will resume.  SASSA beneficiaries are reminded that their cards can be used to purchase goods or receive cash from merchants or bank ATMs.  However, beneficiaries are urged to ensure that it is safe for them to frequent any of these alternative facilities and to follow the COVID protocols at all times. SASSA CEO requested beneficiaries not to panic and stay safe until further notice.

Due to the unrest in the country, that has been escalating over the past few days, the Cash In Transit  (CIT) industry has informed South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) that they will not be providing any cash delivery services to the SASSA cash pay points until further notice. This is to ensure the safety of the SASSA beneficiaries as well as theirs. 

From the Vaal to Soweto, from Voslorus to Durban, police have had their hands full, despite pulling officers from other provinces to bolster deployments.

Police here appear to be outnumbered with only one nyala and one van seen chasing the looters and police using rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse the crowd.

Police members who are currently on leave have also been recalled for duty, as the SAPS battles to deal with sporadic flareups of violence in multiple regions.

"The SACC urgently appeals for an end to the violent protests spilling into criminal acts of wanton vandalism and looting that should not be sustained in a constitutional democracy. A nation, whose legal and constitutional institutions are challenged through violence, will take decades of deep suffering, if ever, to recover. The destruction we are witnessing will have far-reaching and long-lasting impacts. It is a state of civil anarchy and mayhem that cannot and should not be tolerated. We appeal for a moment to stop."

"Are these the conditions under which Mr. Zuma’s freedom should be pursued, outside of the law? Are there both legal and humanitarian conditions under which his imprisonment for contempt of court, can be reviewed - where justice and mercy kiss (Psalm 85:10); and yet ensure not to undermine the constitutional underpinnings of South Africa? That is what the courts are addressing. The Constitutional Court is sitting today to hear his request for his sentence to be rescinded and reversed, and no action should seek to interfere with that process and its outcomes. Any options available to Mr Zuma beyond the court processes will not be helped by the public violence and criminality. We are a human rights society, which provides for the right to protest. But the rights we enjoy must be exercised with responsibility. And this is not the way to go.

"There are some who genuinely believe that Mr Zuma was denied justice; others explain that he was given enough space to express himself in the judicial system which he rejected. Regardless of what anyone believes, and whether, the public protests result from our limited understanding of the complicated legal processes or not, is beside the point. The reality is that the protests arising from this have opened the space for large scale criminality that is fed by poverty, a nothing-to-lose mindset and the deep-seated anger in the absence of hope. In this we now have wanton destruction and even the possible involvement of organised crime whose purpose will be to permanently undermine the country’s institutions. In this category are those who seek to target strategic installations, which takes the problem to another level of calculated lawlessness."

The SA Council of Churches has released a statement: The South African Council of Churches (SACC) notes with deep concern the violence and destruction of property that is engulfing our nation as we speak. This violence is resulting in untold suffering. This, in many quarters in our society, is explained and justified based on the recent court decisions as they affect former President Jacob Zuma

Businesses on Jan Smuts Avenue in Joburg have closed as reporters of rioters moving down the road come in.

KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala will hold his own provincial address tonight.

Rosebank Mall.

Rioters moving down Jan Smuts avenue from the Randburg taxi rank coming towards Craighall/Blairgowrie/Bordeaux. They are targeting shopping malls.

There have been running battles between police and protestors around Gauteng as shopping centres continue to be looted.

Shops in Soweto, Randburg, Alexandra, Vosloorus and the Vaal area have been looted with concerns that the violence could spread to other parts of the province.

The Gauteng government said that riots were impacting the provision of services.

Officials said that some provincial government services, including vaccination sites in the affected areas, have had to temporarily close due to safety concerns from both the staff and the public.

Here's a recap of our coverage so far: 

Speaking on 11 July 2021, President Cyril Ramaphosa said that acts of vandalism and violence will not be tolerated and perpetrators of these acts will be arrested . This comes after a number of businesses were looted, vehicles set alight and roads blocked by those calling for former president Jacob Zuma to be released from prison.

Here's a recap of our coverage so far: 

The riots have resulted in the looting of stores in Soweto, Randburg, Alexandra, Vosloorus and the Vaal, with running battles between police and protestors around Gauteng.

The army has been deployed in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, while police reinforcements have been called up

Six people have so far been killed while more than 200 others have been arrested for the public unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

The riots initially started as protests by some calling for the release of former President Jacob Zuma from prison in Kwazulu-Natal on Friday and spilled over to parts of Gauteng over the weekend.

President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the nation on Monday with regards to the riots in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

A time for the address will be confirmed later on Monday.