Running battles between police and protesters continued overnight in Alexandra, north of Johannesburg, and Tembisa in Ekurhuleni. Police had their work cut out as they fired rubber bullets in an attempt to disperse the violent crowds, determined to get their hands on whatever they could from local malls and shops.
Gunshots echoed late at night in Alexandra as protesters gathered once again for another attempt at looting the local shops.
Despite heavy police presence, they managed to make their way inside the Pan Mall, looting most shops including a Pick and Pay. From food, electronic supplies to clothes – nothing was left behind.
Volatile situation in Jabulani Mall in Soweto as looters take on law enforcement:
Various malls emptied out
ATM machines and smaller shops around Pan Mall were not spared. While some carried furniture, others could be seen with window and door frames from a small hardware store, including shiny corrugated iron sheets. After all the ransacking, foreign-owned shops within the township were also targeted. The scenes also played out in parts of Ekurhuleni, where a Shoprite in Phumulani Mall in Tembisa was set alight.
“We are having sporadic protests in Thokoza by hostels, in Primrose area, in Katlehong by Sotonga Mall. In Alberton on corner union and radio. So we urge motorists and pedestrians to please be careful, especially around Phumlani Mall at Usave centre, Thembi Mall and Isithama section in Tembisa,” says Thabiso Makgato, Ekurhuleni Metro Police.
The unrest is linked to former president Jacob Zuma’s incarceration. The governing ANC has called for calm and restraint, urging those who are unhappy to raise their concerns through relevant platforms.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has ordered the military to support the police in restoring order amid the widespread looting in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.
The president says those guilty of criminality will face the full might of the law.
Some Katlehong residents concerned about their shopping needs post protests: