117 killed in violent protests in S. Africa

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(FM) -A total of 117 people have lost their lives during violent protests which have been taking place for a week in South Africa, said Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni on Thursday while addressing the media about the latest development in the protests in the country.

Ntshavheni said 26 deaths had been recorded in Gauteng, while 91 lives were lost in KwaZulu-Natal.

She said the situation is improving in Gauteng province while KwaZulu-Natal is still volatile but was slowly moving toward stability.

A total of 2,203 arrests were made in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). Among them, 725 were in Gauteng and 1,478 in KZN.

She said the government was concerned over the supply chain and movement of goods from Durban and Richards Bay ports to various destinations for the main routes have been blocked by protesters with stones and other dangerous items over the past few days.

"SAPS (South African Police Service) are providing escorts for the transportation of the supplies of oxygen, medicines and other key goods that have to reach all parts of the country," said Ntshavheni.

She said police have arrested one of the 12 people who were suspected of inciting people to commit crime.

"The South African Police Service tracking team has increased the surveillance of the remaining 11," she added.

With regards to the deployment of 25,000 soldiers, 10,000 were on the ground as of Thursday.

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