36 killed in Phoenix during unrest: South African police minister

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Protestors are dispersed by police during a protest against the incarceration of former president Jacob Zuma in Johannesburg, South Africa, July 11, 2021. The South African police said on Sunday that they have arrested 62 people in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng Province as people protested against the incarceration of former president Jacob Zuma. TO GO WITH
Protestors are dispersed by police during a protest against the incarceration of former president Jacob Zuma in Johannesburg, South Africa, July 11, 2021. The South African police said on Sunday that they have arrested 62 people in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng Province as people protested against the incarceration of former president Jacob Zuma. TO GO WITH "S. African police arrest 62 after violent protests" (Photo by Yeshiel/Xinhua) Draft note Comment ID: 101002021071190001636 Width: 2867 Altitude: 1870 Archive ID: PEA01454532 Importance ID: 5.0 Issue time: 2021-07-11 14:07:18 Tag: violent protests africa johannesburg Jacob Zuma South Africa Gauteng Province Expand↓ English name of author: unreguser Word number: 489 Keyword : wn,jt Identity CNML: XxjpbeE007416_20210711_PEPFN0.xml Column: Photo. English Photo Service Articles recommended AU chairperson condemns surge of violence in South Africa 117 killed in violent protests in S. Africa Death toll from S. Africa's unrest rises to 337 S. Africa deploys army to quell violent protests, looting Images recommended SOUTH AFRICA-JOHANNESBURG-VIOLENT PROTESTS SOUTH AFRICA-JOHANNESBURG-VIOLENT PROTESTS Videos recommended GLOBALink | 117 killed in violent protests in S. Africa GLOBALink | 117 killed in violent protests in S. Africa

The unrest which descended into vigilantism particularly in Phoenix, Durban claimed 36 lives in that area alone, South African Police Minister Bheki Cele revealed on Tuesday at a briefing in Durban.

“Our investigations show that 30 of those who were killed were shot,” he said, adding that two died after being burnt, one was stabbed to death and one “was run over by a motor vehicle” and two others died from the brutal injuries they sustained after being assaulted.

“Police are investigating 52 cases of attempted murder and probing nine cases of common assault and 16 cases of assaults,” he noted.

Cele said while the unrest that affected Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal saw the burning and the damage of property and infrastructure, Phoenix became the “epicentre of heinous criminal and racist incidents”.

Cele, who appointed a team of 31 experienced police detectives to investigate crimes that occurred in the area, said “crimes committed in Phoenix will not go unpunished.” So far 22 suspects have been arrested.

“Some of these suspects are allegedly connected to several murder cases, while others face charges relating to attempted murder, malicious damage to property, and defeating the ends of justice,” he said.

When the unrest began on July 12, community members of Phoenix set up roadblocks which turned to vigilantism and where people were racially profiled.

“Some motorists were allegedly forcefully taken out of their motor vehicles and then assaulted with baseball bats, bricks and sticks. Some people were even butchered with bush knives and other sharp instruments,” Cele said, despite relying on the detailed police report, residents from surrounding areas spoke of how they “escaped death” while trying to access clinics and a local pharmacy. Enditem

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