The government has warned against xenophobic violence after it arrested 637 for attacks on foreign nationals since the violence broke out in Joburg. Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency(ANA).

Johannesburg - The government has warned the public against xenophobic violence after it arrested 637 people in total for attacks on foreign nationals.

Police Minister Bheki Cele said there will be more visible police presence in areas affected by the violence.

Ministers in the Security Cluster revealed in Cape Town on Tuesday that they have taken several measures to clamp down on gender-based violence.

Several women and children have in recent weeks been killed in the country, prompting mass protests in Cape Town and more planned in Joburg.

Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said they have been able to bring down the levels of xenophobic violence, saying 637 people have been arrested since the outbreak of the violence. In addition, 16 more people were arrested in Katlehong on Monday evening.

She said they were appealing to all South Africans and foreign nationals to respect the laws of the country.

Mapisa-Nqakula also said they were taking tough measures to deal with gender-based violence.

“A committee will be set up by the South African Police Service and the National Prosecuting Authority to look at cold cases which relate to sexual offences and gender-based violence,” she said.

“In addition, SAPS has committed to training more female police officers to deal with victims of crimes against women and children at station level,” she said.

“This will go a long way in ensuring that victims are not subjected to secondary victimisation," said Mapisa-Nqakula.

Political Bureau