South Africa riots death toll rises to 276

The death toll in South Africa from the violence that followed the jailing of former President Jacob Zuma has risen to 276.

Thousands of businesses were looted in the riots that mainly affected the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

It was a level of violence unprecedented in post-apartheid South Africa.

Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, a minister in the president’s office, said 234 people had died in KwaZulu-Natal and another 42 in Gauteng.

The unrest has now largely subsided following the deployment of 25,000 soldiers.

Police were carrying out “mopping-up operations to ensure opportunistic and copycat activities do not find traction”, the AFP news agency quotes Ms Ntshavheni as saying.

A former DJ appeared in court on Wednesday on charges of inciting the violence – he is one of about a dozen people prosecutors believe instigated the unrest.

Several thousand others have been arrested for looting.