Pretoria - The South African Police Service (SAPS) on Monday said 91 people had been arrested in and around Johannesburg over the past two days amidst a spate of violence and looting of shops owned by foreign nationals.
"Police are condemning all acts of violence directed at the businesses and the looting of shops described as those of foreign nationals by criminal opportunists in areas that include Ekurhuleni, Tshwane and Johannesburg Central," said Gauteng provincial police spokesperson, colonel Lungelo Dlamini.
The violence started in Pretoria last week, following an apparent shooting of a taxi driver by a drug dealer. Several shops were looted and burnt, leaving a trail of destruction in South Africa's volatile capital city. The violence and looting soon spread to Johannesburg where more foreign-owned shops were looted.
Dlamini said irresponsible "use and abuse of social media" also played a part in fuelling the violence.
"The Gauteng provincial commissioner, lieutenant general Elias Mawela. has instructed all commanders to take strong action against the perpetrators as this state of affairs can not be allowed to continue," said Dlamini.
Of the 91 arrests, 20 people were apprehended in Rossettenville, 35 in Malvern, 10 in Tembisa, 26 in Jeppe and nine in Germiston.