South African police said on Wednesday they had shot dead two people suspected of looting shops in Pretoria.

This was as a result of continued violence triggered by the ruling party's choice of a mayoral candidate for local polls.

Console Tleane, Tshwane Metro Police Spokesman, said in a statement that they also arrested 40 of the rioters, who were targeting foreigners' shops.

``Two of the suspects were shot and killed following looting at Mamelodi.

``Those arrested would face charges of violence and theft.

"Incidents of protests and looting continued in other areas while situation is tense in others,’’ he said.

Foreigners, many of them from other African countries, last suffered a wave of attacks in April last year, by crowds blaming them for taking jobs and business.