- More than 550 people were arrested during the EFF protests on Monday.
- Those arrested faced charges such as public violence, intimidation, damage to critical infrastructure, theft and attempted looting.
- Gauteng saw the highest number of arrests, with 149 people taken into custody.
More than 550 people were arrested during the EFF national shutdown protest on Monday.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe said those arrested faced charges such as public violence, intimidation, damage to critical infrastructure, theft and attempted looting.
Gauteng recorded the highest number of arrests, with 149 people taken into custody. The Northern Cape recorded the second highest number with 95 arrests, followed by the Eastern Cape, where 80 protesters were arrested, and the Free State with 64 arrests.
Police seized 24 300 tyres that had been "strategically placed for acts of criminality", said Mathe.
The arrests resulted from "integrated law enforcement deployments", and law enforcement agencies were supported by the defence force, private security groups, community policing forms and neighbourhood watches, Mathe added.
The government described the EFF protest – a bid to force the resignation of President Cyril Ramaphosa – as a failure.
The protest action was focused on Pretoria, where 2 000 to 2 500 protesters gathered at Church Square before marching to Ramaphosa's official residence, Mahlamba Ndlopfu. Smaller protests were scattered across the country.
READ | Presidency chides EFF's 'flop' after much-hyped national shutdown ends in a whimper
In Johannesburg, a few hundred supporters from Alexandra township marched to Sandton. There was also some protest action in Tembisa on the East Rand, where protesters closed roads with burning tyres and rocks.
In Durban, around 5 000 protesters undertook a 5km march from Pixley ka Isaka Seme Street to Moses Mabhida Stadium.
In Cape Town, a spirited group of about 400 people made their way to Parliament.
"The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (Natjoints) is satisfied with the manner in which the integrated law enforcement deployments have exercised their authority in ensuring law and order in the country thus far," Mathe said.
"The Natjoints takes this opportunity to appreciate the protest that proceeded in a peaceful and orderly manner in Pretoria. In the rest of the country, those who were found to be contravening the law were dealt with accordingly, within the ambit of the law."
Mathe said law enforcement agencies would "continue to monitor the situation closely".