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212 people reported dead as South Africa protests continue

South Africa coronavirus

Unrest in South Africa has claimed 212 lives, the government said on Friday, a sharp jump from the 117 deaths announced the previous day.

Government minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni told a news conference most of the new fatalities had occurred in the southeastern province of KwaZulu-Natal province, the epicentre of the violence.

But, she said, the situation was “gradually and firmly returning to normality.”

Ntshavheni reported that 1,488 additional incidents were reported in KZN overnight, but did not give details.

The province also reported an additional 89 deaths over the past 24 hours.

More than 2,550 people have been arrested, Ntshavheni said.

There were no new incidents reported in Gauteng province which includes the financial capital Johannesburg, where 56 cases of violence or looting have been recorded since the start of the unrest a week ago.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is due to address the nation on Friday night, said earlier that the unrest had been “planned” and the government would hunt down those responsible.

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