Protesters throw rocks at the police during an attack on a South African business in Abuja, Nigeria. Picture: AP

Johannesburg - Gauteng police on Friday said that have arrested 74 more people as violence flared up again in Katlehong in the Ekurhuleni metropolitan municipality.

Police spokeswoman Brigadier Mathapelo Peters said the number of those arrested totaled 497 since xenophobic attacks erupted in the province.

"Police in Gauteng remain on high alert and are closely monitoring areas around Katlehong North in Ekurhuleni where on Thursday, 05 September 2019, incidents of violence flared up," said Peters. 

"Police can also confirm that while 11 people were killed during this period, only seven deaths have been directly linked to the incidents of violence as police continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding each death."  

Hundreds of foreign nationals in Katlehong sought refugee at local police station as xenophobic violence gripped province in the past few days.

Human Settlements member of the executive committee (MEC) Lebogang Maile said he received a report from the Provincial Disaster Management Centre following the violence outbreak in Ekurhuleni, Johannesburg and Pretoria. He said more humanitarian aid was being sought for the displaced persons.

"Few cases of self-displacement by foreign nationals have been reported by police, especially around Ekurhuleni as well. The displaced communities of about 600 people are being  accommodated in three halls," said Maile on Friday

"More humanitarian relief is being sourced and organized for them. Our centers are operational, but we are happy that the situation is being stabilised and the Provincial Disaster Management Centre is working with all relevant stakeholders."  

Authorities urged social media users to desist from spreading false information. This followed a video clip showing an Ekurhuleni metro police officer urging parents to rush and pick up their children from school for fear of "attacks". 

The video caused panic after it went viral and was shared across social media. 

The officer had gone to her daughter's school to fetch her fearing attacks, alleging that Pakistani nationals were abducting children from schools.

Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina said on Thursday that a decision was taken to suspend the metro cop as the video "plunged Ekhurhuleni into a crisis".

At least 13 schools shut down by panicking principals.

African News Agency (ANA)