WATCH: Smoke billows from shop in Ladysmith, KZN, cops say it was not looted

Police in KwaZulu-Natal have dismissed a “fake message” circulating on social media claiming that a shop in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal, was looted and subsequently caught fire.

Police spokesperson, Brigadier Jay Naicker said the message is “false” because according to the occupants of the shop “the fire may have started as they were cooking”.

“Apparently there are foreign nationals that live on the premises and the fire may have started as they were cooking.

“Police and all other emergency services are on the scene,” Naicker said.

He said updates on the fire and whether any persons were injured would be provided in due course.

Watch the video of the shop engulfed in flames:

ALSO READ: KZN Premier says rumours of national shutdown are taken seriously, calls for calm

There were fears that a civil unrest similar to the one of July which was characterized by mass looting, may erupt on Monday, 23 August 2021, following calls on social media for a national shutdown.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala has called for calm in the province where the recent unrest was witnessed in several areas.

Zikalala said law enforcement agencies had been alerted and were ready to deal with any eventuality.

The South African Communist Party (SACP) in the province has distanced itself from calls for a national shutdown made through a widely shared digital banner bearing the party’s logo, among others.

ALSO READ: SACP in KZN distances itself from alleged national shutdown

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