South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has described events in the country this past week as a ”failed insurrection”.
Addressing the nation Friday, Ramaphosa denounced the deadly incident. He said since the outbreak of this violence, at least 212 people have lost their lives. He added that of these, 180 have been in KwaZulu-Natal and 32 in Gauteng.
“Despite the widespread destruction, this attempted insurrection has failed. It has failed to gain popular support amongst our people. It has failed because of the efforts of our security forces, and it has failed because South Africans have rejected it and have stood up in defence of our hard won democracy”, Ramaphosa said.
He added that : ‘’The South African police service, led by commissioner Sithole here, is investigating 131 cases of murder and have opened inquest dockets in respect of 81 deaths.”
Unrest erupted in areas of South Africa after ex-President Jacob Zuma began serving a 15-month sentence for contempt of court. Ramaphosa vowed to restore order to the country.
“If we stand together, no insurrection or violence in this country will succeed. We are engaged in a struggle to defend our democracy, to defend our constitution, to defend our livelihoods and our safety. This is not a battle that we can afford to lose”, he said.
On Friday, police begun confiscating items believed to have been looted during the week long chaos. The army rollout in KwaZulu-Natal is expected to restore order in the coastal province within a few days.
With order restored in Gauteng, authorities have begun holding residents accountable.
Police in Johannesburg have started recovering stolen property and arresting suspects.