A number of minors - among 45 people arrested for public violence during a protest in Barberton - were released on Friday, Mpumalanga police said.

Sergeant Gerald Sedibe said that after investigation, it was found that 18 of those arrested earlier in the day were minors.

Police used teargas when residents looted shops belonging to foreign nationals.

Roads were also barricaded with stones and burning tires.

Protesters were demanding that the proposed Mpumalanga University, rumoured to be constructed in White River, be built in Barberton.

They believed this would alleviate unemployment in the area.

Those who remained in police custody would appear in the Barberton Magistrate's Court soon, Sedibe said. - Sapa