Police are investigating the looting of two shops in Valhalla Park. Picture: Supplied

Cape Town - Police are investigating the looting of two shops in Valhalla Park on Monday morning after residents cleaned out the shops allegedly on the orders of local gangsters.

Officers resorted to firing rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse the unruly mob shortly after 6am as they ran through the streets carrying off food and whole lambs - while people were preparing for their Heritage Day braais the next day.

According to a police source, the owners of Jowoodien Superette and the butchery in Angela Street were allegedly threatened by members of the 28s gang after refusing to pay protection money.

“The residents went in after an alleged order by the 28s gang because the owners did not want to pay ‘tax money’,” said the source.

“They instructed the residents to break in and take everything they want and this is why the residents are keeping quiet about what happened.”

Videos of the incident were widely circulated on social media, showing women in gowns inside the shops looking for items to steal, while men are seen bragging while carrying away whole lambs.

Video: Supplied

In a video taken inside the supermarket, a child can be seen carrying canned food while a woman wearing a pink gown identified as “Selena” is undecided as she grabs a bag of rice.

“Selena! Jy wietie wat om te vat nie (Selena! You don't even know what to take),” the man making the video is heard saying.

Videos on social media also show the community stoning police officers.

Police spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Andrè Traut, says police are investigating the circumstances which led up to the incident and no arrests have been made so far.

Video: Supplied

Bishop Lavis Community Police Forum (CPF) chairperson, Graham Lindhorst, says they condemn the incident.

“This was pure criminality. The residents looted the supermarket and the butchery which have been there for a long time,” he says.

“One of the owners is South African and the other is a foreign national but as far as we can see, this was not related to xenophobia. There appears to be no clear reason why this happened.

Video: Supplied

“The area was very volatile and police had to fire rubber bullets and stun grenades. The police are investigating and we are calling on them to arrest the people who participated as they can be seen on the videos.”

When the Daily Voice visited the area yesterday, the shop owners were not found, but the army could be seen patrolling the streets.

Daily Voice