Several stalls were set alight at the Pan Africa Mall in Alexandra, north of Johannesburg on Wednesday night.
It is believed that stalls belonging to South Africans were set on fire after an altercation between members of Operation Dudula and illegal foreigners.
Johannesburg Emergency Services Robert Mulaudzi said no injuries were reported.
“This evening at around 8:30pm we responded to a fire incident at the Pan African Mall where a number of stalls were affected by the fire incident. Between 6 and 8 stalls were affected by the fire and there were no injuries reported during this fire incident.”
Mulaudzi said the cause of the fire is being investigated.
Last month, angry Soweto residents tossed an ultimatum at Police Minister Bheki Cele to get rid of the foreign criminal informal settlements within a month or they’ll do it themselves
“… and you’ll have to dig plenty of graves afterwards,” the residents said
The gauntlet was thrown down by Operation Dudula leader Nhlanhla “Lux” Mohlauli, who said: “If the squatter camps are still there on Sunday [29 May], you might as well prepare a mass funeral because we’re going all out, guns blazing.”
Operation Dudula and Mohlauli are no strangers to controversy.
The group is a vigilante organisation that targets foreign nationals in Alexandra, accusing them of taking jobs from locals, with some of their actions being deemed not legal.
In March, Mohlauli was granted bail of R1,500 by the Roodepoort Magistrate’s Court following his arrest on charges of malicious damage to property, theft and burglary.
The charges were in connection with an incident in which he and Operation Dudula members ransacked Soweto resident Victor Ramerafe’s home in search of drugs.
They were apparently acting on tip-offs that Ramerafe’s home was a drug den, but no drugs were found.
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