Alex’s Pan Mall was deserted on Sunday morning.
If you saw it for the first time, you would have thought there had been no trading there for a year.
The centre was deserted, trashed, and stripped down by looters who are claiming to be supporters of the former president, Jacob Zuma.
One person has reportedly been shot and killed following overnight looting and police have confirmed that they are investigating the shooting of a 40-year-old man.
One police officer is being treated in hospital after being shot at by looters whilst responding to the violence.
Police spokesperson Brenda Muridili said in a statement that two more police officers sustained minor injuries in the confrontation with the suspects.
Eighteen people have so far been arrested.
The police have called the group criminal and opportunistic.
Police had to fire rubber bullets to disperse a crowd of protesters who had ransacked the USave shop. Thugs also bombed an ATM and were busy taking money when officers arrived and started shooting.
A passing Pick n Pay truck was stopped, broken into and was stripped of everything valuable, including the diesel and the truck’s battery.
When some concerned locals caught wind that a spaza shop was going to be looted, they waited by the shop with sjamboks and whipped everyone who tried to break in.
Alexandra resident Thulani Mofokeng said the protests were purely an act of criminals.
“Sadly, they are mostly young children,” she said.
“If the anger is about Zuma being jailed, why can’t they have peaceful protests to the Constitutional Court or ANC headquarters? Why looting? They are just thugs.”
Earlier in the day, a police van was seen escorting spaza shop owners who had decided to move out, but couldn’t help them all.
As darkness fell more spaza shops were targeted, leaving shop owners devastated.
Matthews Nkabinde, a concerned resident, said Alexandra will have nothing tomorrow.
“Many people will have no jobs. The township will sink into more poverty and crime. This is not about Zuma. These are criminals.”
The Johannesburg CBD was brought to a complete standstill with no shops operating.
In KZN, more shops were the target of looting after the burning of trucks earlier in the week.