Forty-one people have been arrested in South Africa after incidents of “looting and torching of buildings and vehicles”, the police have said in a statement.
The violence was mainly in the area of Jeppestown, which is close to the centre of the commercial hub, Johannesburg.
The police said the “mayhem” followed the deaths of three people in a fire in an “old building”.
The TimesLive website describes the building as having been “hijacked”.
“While we were still investigating with emergency services, people that were around started taking advantage of the situation and looted shops,” police spokesman Capt Mavela Masondo is quoted as saying.
Videos on social media show the extent of the fire damage at a second-hand car dealership:
Other pictures show the shops that have been looted:
Lt-Gen Elias Mawela, the police commissioner for Gauteng, the province that includes Johannesburg, said: “Those who are hell-bent on turning Gauteng into a crime haven will be found and will face the full might of the law.”