He was taken to hospital with a shoulder injury, said Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar.
Violence erupted in Jeppe Street, central Johannesburg, during a clean-up operation at 2pm.
“The hawkers are contravening the by-laws of the city, which is conducive to crime. So the [Johannesburg metro police department] is enforcing the by-laws and removing the hawkers from where they should not be,” said Minnaar.
The by-laws, which are listed on the city’s website, prohibit a street trader from running a business if it obstructs a pedestrian’s use of the sidewalk or is on a sidewalk less than four metres wide.
Businesses can also be shut down if they create a nuisance, damage the surface of a public road, and create a traffic or health hazard.
Minnaar said the protest abated later in the afternoon. The operation would be enforced throughout the CBD, he said.