WATCH | Alexandra's Pan African Mall, opened by Zuma in 2009, trashed by looters

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The streets of Alexandra in Johannesburg were covered with clouds of teargas smoke and the sound of rubber bullets on Wednesday morning as the unrest in the township spilled into the area. 

Scores of residents swarmed into the Pan Africa Mall and the surrounding local supermarkets, looking for basic goods. 

The township's main shopping district was unrecognisable, as residents had ransacked the area.

READ | Zuma unrest: SSA looking at possibilities of xenophobic violence and right-wing extremism

People continued to scrounge for what was left in the shopping district - including rice, oil, maize-meal and the essential basic food items. 

The Pan African Mall was opened by then-president Jacob Zuma, with much fanfare, in 2009.

Zuma said at the time that it was about time that townships had access to the basic services "that are taken for granted in historically white areas". 

He added that the mall would serve as a catalyst for future growth and development, and create employment opportunities. There were loud cheers and screams from the crowd as Zuma officially declared the mall open, calling this event "a beautiful thing".

Police, who were outnumbered by the number of looters, continued to monitor the situation. 

READ | #ZumaUnrest: Some Gauteng vaccination sites closed amid violence and looting

Parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng have been rocked by unrest, resulting in acts of lawlessness like looting.

News24 earlier reported that violence had broken out on Friday, incited by calls to free former president Jacob Zuma from prison, but has since descended into mass violence and looting.

Zuma is serving a 15-month jail sentence for being in contempt of a Constitutional Court order compelling him to appear at the Zondo Commission to give evidence.

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