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WATCH | FROM THE GROUND: Police sweep shopping mall in Alexandra, arrest looters amid widespread riots

Emile Bosch Multimedia journalist

The Pan Africa shopping centre in Alexandra, Gauteng, was overrun with looters on Monday. Severe damage was caused to the mall and surrounding shops by the angry mob. 

This follows a spate of violent looting and civil unrest that started last week and has spread to parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. Though protests initially began after the arrest of former president Jacob Zuma, many have said that poverty and desperation are leading causes of the unrest. Others have blamed criminal elements.

Police engaged in running battles with looters throughout the day, with stun grenades, teargas and rubber bullets doing little to discourage mobs from continuing looting.

As night fell, police took the decision to clear the mall of looters. Any found on the premises were arrested.

At least 400 people have been arrested in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng since the start of the unrest.

There have been at least 10 reported deaths during this period.

With police forces stretched thin, the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) will be deployed to the country’s hotspot areas.

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