4,000 loot Rustenburg shopping centre

Police are unsure what led to the incident but they suspect it’s related to Amcu’s platinum strike.

FILE: Impala Platinum's mine in Rustenburg, near to the shopping centre looted by 4,000 people. Picture: Implats.co.za.

JOHANNESBURG - Police have confirmed an entire shopping centre next to Impala Platinum's number 9 shaft in Rustenburg was looted and several houses and a community hall torched between Sunday night and the early hours of this morning.

In a remarkable case of public disorder, around 4,000 people started gathering near the shopping centre at midnight shortly after the nearby hall was set alight, police say.

It's still unclear who the looters are but it's suspected the incident is linked to the lengthy strike by members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu).

The strike, which has entered its third month, has left many mineworkers in the platinum sector without food or any other income.

The police's Thulani Ngubane says they can only confirm one arrest so far which was related to the arson case.

He says the incident was a culmination of violence which started yesterday afternoon.

"There's a continuous investigation we're embarking on to make sure we bring the perpetrators to book," he adds.

The police are not yet able to say how much money was lost by businesses at the shopping centre.