South Africa’s national police chief Khomotso Phahlane says 156 people have been arrested in various incidents during the anti-foreigner march in Pretoria.
According to Phahlane, random acts of violence, looting and destruction of property had occurred during the protest.
However, it was unclear how many of those in custody were South Africans and how many foreigners.
Phahlane said anyone found to have been inciting violence would be prosecuted.
1pm’ Recall that President Jacob Zuma had called for calm ahead of today’s anti-immigrant march. However, many unemployed South Africans accuse foreigners of taking their jobs.
The main group behind the protests, Mamelodi Concerned Residents, has blamed foreign nationals for taking jobs and accused them of being involved in prostitution rings and drug cartels, accusations denied by immigrant communities.
Two years ago, similar xenophobic unrest in the cities of Johannesburg and Durban claimed seven lives as African immigrants were hunted down and attacked by gangs.
12.50pm’ The police are battling hard to keep South Africans and foreigners apart
12.45pm’ Foreigners in South Africa’s capital, Pretoria have stood their ground against a march by residents.
A video shared on Twitter shows one man saying that they do not want to fight but are “ready to protect our property”.