The South African Police Service (SAPS) has disclosed that five people were killed in the recent spate of violence that erupted in the country over the past two days.

South African mobs launched attacks on foreigners, including Nigerians, and looted and burnt their places of business in suburbs of Johannesburg and surrounding areas on Sunday, September 1, 2019, and Monday, September 2.

SAPS had earlier revealed on Monday that three were killed and at least 100 arrested in connection to the violence.

However, in a statement released on Tuesday, September 3, authorities said a total of five murders have been reported, with two in Corronationville, two in Hillbrow and one near a hostel at Jeppe.

Businesses owned by Nigerians were looted and vandalised in South Africa [NAN]
Businesses owned by Nigerians were looted and vandalised in South Africa [NAN]

A total of 189 arrests have also been effected since Sunday for criminal acts including public violence, malicious damage to property, and theft. 

"Police have increased deployments to cover all the areas identified as hot spots of violence that has seen several shops being looted, burned and property being looted. 

"Today the situation has been stabilised in parts of Tshwane, Ekurhuleni, Johannesburg Central, Jeppe and Cleveland policing areas," SAPS said. 

The Provincial Commissioner of Gauteng, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela, assured members of the public that no unlawful activities will be tolerated.

"All our members are on the ground to deal with criminality," he said.

South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa has condemned the attacks and called for unity. 

"The people of our country want to live in harmony; whatever concerns or grievances we may have, we need to handle them in a democratic way. 

"There can be no justification for any South African to attack people from other countries," he said.

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has sent a special envoy to South Africa to express his displeasure with the fresh attacks.

Nigerians have battled xenophobic attacks in South Africa for years, with at least 127 believed to have been killed over the past three years.

While holding a bilateral meeting with Buhari on the sidelines of the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) last week, Ramaphosa said his government is working hard to end the attacks.

"We feel very upset about that. Obviously, our criminal justice system is working on it. We don't support killings," Ramaphosa said.

The two leaders are expected to discuss the issue at more length during Buhari's official visit to South Africa in October.