South Africa’s President Ramaphosa condemns ‘anti-foreigner violence’

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has condemned a wave of looting and violence that has mostly targeted foreign nationals.

“There can be no justification for any South African to attack people from other countries,” he said on Tuesday.

Dozens of people were arrested in Johannesburg on Monday. At least five people have been killed in the unrest.

Other African governments have issued warnings to their citizens over the violence.

Attacks on businesses run by “foreign nationals is something totally unacceptable, something that we cannot allow to happen in South Africa,” Mr Ramaphosa said in a video posted to Twitter.

“I want it to stop immediately,” he added.

Separately, the African Union (AU) issued a statement condemning the “despicable acts” of violence “in the strongest terms”.

Police fired tear gas, rubber bullets and stun grenades in an attempt to quell the unrest on Monday. The surge in violence also saw mobs loot shops, torch vehicles, and target lorries that were being driven by foreign nationals.

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Violence continued on Tuesday in Johannesburg’s Alexandra township.

Some angry residents in the city are calling on the government to deport undocumented migrants, the BBC’s Nomsa Maseko says.

But one Nigerian businessman, whose shop was targeted by looters, told the BBC that foreign nationals in South Africa were subjected to “a lot of allegations [and] lies”.

“This is not a criminal attack. This is a [xenophobic] attack,” he said.

A branch of the South African supermarket Shoprite has been vandalised in the Lagos neighbourhood of Lekki, an eyewitness has told the BBC.

One eyewitness reported seeing two bodies lying on the road outside the shopping centre where the supermarket is based.

Cars stuck in nearby traffic were also vandalised as their passengers fled. The authorities have not confirmed the reports of casualties.

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