Members of the Economic Freedom Front (EFF) attacked H&M stores across the country on Saturday in protest against a racist advert by the company.
Other shops at the mall were closed to prevent further vandalism. "Police had to intervene and dispersed the group of protesters by firing rubber bullets", Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said. "If they want peace they must close this shop", he said.
Earlier in the week, H&M said: "We understand that many people are upset about the image".
Addressing the EFF store takeovers, she tweeted that "apartheid and racism [have] corrupted some so much that this is thought to be reasonable in response to a hoodie with the word "monkey" on it". "In terms of accepting or not accepting your apology, it is not my prerogative". Many people accused the worldwide chain store of racism.
The image copped widespread criticism, with USA singer The Weekend among those to voice his distaste, saying he was "shocked and embarrassed".
"Apology se gat", he said.
TWITTER•@ABRAMJEEClothes are left strewn across the floor as activists ransack South African H&M stores
Pictures and videos on social media show dozens of chanting protestors, wearing the red uniforms of the ultra-left party, and ransacking the stores.
Clothes racks were pushed over, mannequins thrown on the floor and clothes destroyed in H&M stores at Sandton City and Menlyn in Johannesburg.
Police were called to H&M stores following reports of violence and damage.
"We would like to assure our customers that the safety and security of all shoppers and tenants is of paramount importance and we apologise for any inconvenience caused".
Ndebele said "normal trading" had resumed in the mall.
H&M addressed the situation in South Africa this afternoon, saying it was closing stores in the area and that store staffs had nothing to do with its aforementioned "poor judgement".