Presenter escapes unharmed as looters hit Alex FM studios

Studio computers, equipment and infrastructure worth about R5 million were looted by Alexandra residents.

Picture: @AlexFMRadio891/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - Alexandra community radio station, Alex FM, has been ransacked on Tuesday morning and is currently off air.

Studio computers, equipment and infrastructure worth about R5 million were looted by residents.

A presenter who was on air at the time, managed to escape unharmed.

Alex FM station manager Takalane Nemangowe said: “Today is a sad day for us, we don’t have a radio station now.”

He said the station had been serving the community for about 27 years.

“We provided proper content and we became the voice of the voiceless in the community of Alexandra.”

Nemangowe said when the attacked happened in the early hours of Tuesday, there were no police in sight.

“I’m here at Alex FM studios and there are no police. We were told that soldiers would be deployed to Alexandra but they’re not here.”

The station will be closed until further notice.

Running battles are continuing between police and looters at the Pan Africa Mall and surrounding areas in Alexandra.

Police have had their hands full while community members are picking up what they can from the shops that were looted.

The Pan Africa Mall and nearby businesses have been emptied, while the Shell garage has also come under attack.

A building that houses dozens of shops in the area has been set alight and a fire engine is on the scene to extinguish the blaze.

Meanwhile, in Meadowlands, Soweto, some residents have been picking up what is left following a day of looting on Tuesday morning while others tried to break several ATMs.

There were running battles between looters and police officers there on Monday.

It remains to be seen whether this violence will come to an end, following the presidents promise to deploy more resources to restore peace.

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