At least six shops in Woodlands, Mitchells Plain were looted overnight following unrest, after authorities thwarted an attempted land invasion over the weekend.

In one case, the store of a small general dealer was cleared and a fridge was found lying outside the premises on Tuesday morning, City of Cape Town law enforcement spokesperson Wayne Dyason said.

He slammed the looting as opportunistic criminality. He said older women were among the perpetrators and that they were seen handing stolen goods to others, believed to be their grandchildren.

The unrest started on Sunday when locals erected about 60 structures on a field in Mitchell Avenue, which authorities demolished, Dyason confirmed.

On Tuesday morning, all was quiet, he said, although debris and burnt-out tyres, logs and tree stumps littered the street.

Provincial police spokesperson Captain FC Van Wyk confirmed that incidents of looting were reported and cases of business burglary and theft have been opened.

“At this stage the area remains calm and there is a high visibility of SAPS operational units and other law enforcement agencies in the Woodlands area.”

Shots were fired at police on Monday as the officers tried to hold protesters off on Eisleben Road, a main route in the suburb.

READ: Protesters open fire on police in Cape Town

News24 reported that police officers wore protective gear but ran for cover behind their bakkies as their fortified Nyalas had not yet arrived. A bullet hit one officer’s vehicle.

Police, law enforcement and traffic officials later responded to the scene.

Rubber bullets were fired to keep armed people at bay.

JP Smith, Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, said the City’s Anti-Land Invasion Unit removed, on average, 15 000 illegal structures and/or pegs per annum.

But within the first four months of this year, recorded figures stood at more than 26 000, he added.

Shops in Mitchells Plain were looted and vandalised. (Supplied: Wayne Dyason)

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