Alexandra. File photo: AP Photo/Themba Hadebe.

Johannesburg - The City of Joburg has ordered a "full investigation" into demolition of illegal structures in Alexandra on Friday. 

Earlier, chaos ensued in the sprawling township when members of the Red Ants evicted residents alleged to have been staying in Marlboro Gardens illegally. 

According to eNCA, community members claimed the Red Ants arrived unannounced and began demolishing structures. Reports further claimed that a child had died after being buried under the rubble but Gauteng police denied this incident. 

The city in a statement said it learnt of the incident operation between the South African Police Services (SAPS), the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) and the Red Ants "with deep regret". 

"The purpose of the operation was to remove illegal structures which had been constructed along the waterline within the area and which posed a safety risk.

"Based on currently available information, it would appear that the operation may have been conducted without the requisite processes being followed.

"To this end, the city has ordered a full investigation to determine who authorised the operation and whether the operation was conducted within the ambit of the law. If not, the city has committed itself to ensuring that the strongest forms of accountability take place at JMPD.

The city said it was in the process of ensuring that those affected by the evictions are provided with relief to safeguard their well-being.

"The fact that such an incident has occurred is deeply regretful and those responsible will held to account. The City will provide an update to residents as more information becomes available."

No arrests have been made.