Foreign-owned businesses in Johannesburg were looted, in the latest in a series of anti-foreigner violence in South Africa. Police said they arrested 22 people in connection with the attacks.

Residents of one hostel set up burning barricades, while foreign workers nearby began clearing up after a local car garage was firebombed.

south africa xenophobic attacks
A police officer protects the property of foreign nationals in the Jeppestown area of JohannesburgMujahid Safodien/AFP
south africa xenophobic attacks
A man carries a club and a Zulu shield outside a hostel in JohannesburgSiphiwe Sibeko/Reuters
south africa xenophobic attacks
Locals run after trying to rob a foreign motorist in JohannesburgSiphiwe Sibeko/Reuters
south africa xenophobic attacks
Locals gesture outside a hostel during anti-immigrant related violence in JohannesburgSiphiwe Sibeko/Reuters
south africa xenophobic attacks
A man holds a brick near the hostels in the Jeppestown area of Johannesburg where clashes broke outMujahid Safodien/AFP
south africa xenophobic attacks
A man carrying an axe chats to a woman outside a hostel in Jeppestown, JohannesburgMujahid Safodien/AFP

South African police fired rubber bullets and a stun grenade on Friday, 17 April, to disperse African immigrants who had armed themselves with machetes in an area east of Johannesburg.

south africa xenophobic attacks
An African immigrant holds a machete in a run-down district of east JohannesburgSiphiwe Sibeko/Reuters
south africa xenophobic attacks
Police officers fire rubber bullets as they disperse African immigrants carrying machetesSiphiwe Sibeko/Reuters
south africa xenophobic attacks
An African immigrant runs as an armed police officer disperses machete-wielding immigrants in JohannesburgSiphiwe Sibeko/Reuters
south africa xenophobic attacks
Police officers walk past a car that was burnt overnight in JohannesburgSiphiwe Sibeko/Reuters
south africa xenophobic attacks
People look at a burnt-out car after foreign nationals reportedly torched it in the early hours outside a hostel in the Jeppestown area, east of JohannesburgMujahid Safodien/AFP
south africa xenophobic attacks
A child picks up casings from the rubber bullets fired by police in Jeppestown, JohannesburgMujahid Safodien/AFP

South Africa has been hit by a wave of violence against African and other immigrants in the last two weeks. The foreigners have complained about a lack of protection and some have started to arm themselves.

Police raided a hostel east of Johannesburg on 16 April after reports that residents were behind a wave of attacks on foreign-owned shops.

south africa xenophobic attacks
South African police raid a hostel in Benoni, outside Johannesburg, where residents have been protesting against the presence of foreign-owned shops, forcing them to shut downMarco Longari/AFP
south africa xenophobic attacks
A police officer takes aim as they search a hostel east of JohannesburgSiphiwe Sibeko/Reuters
south africa xenophobic attacks
A South African anti-riot police officer raids the kitchen area of a hostel in Benoni, east of JohannesburgMarco Longari/AFP
south africa xenophobic attacks
A South African anti-riot police officer frisks a man during a raid on a hostel in Benoni whose residents are suspected of having protested against foreign-owned shops in the areaMarco Longari/AFP
south africa xenophobic attacks
A South African riot policeman lines up residents while raiding a hostel in BenoniMarco Longari/AFP

Several thousand South Africans took to the streets of Durban on 16 April to march against xenophobia. The march was organised after xenophobic attacks erupted in the Durban area and then spread to other parts of the country, culminating in violence that reportedly killed six people.

They marched peacefully to the City Hall. But then an anti-immigrant group attempted to disrupt the march and was met with police resistance.

south africa xenophobic attacks
People participate in a peace march after anti-immigrant violence flared in DurbanRogan Ward/Reuters
south africa xenophobic attacks
Hundreds of people participate in a peace march in DurbanRogan Ward/Reuters
south africa xenophobic attacks
Foreign nationals threaten to defend themselves as police get between them and South Africans after a peace march in DurbanRogan Ward/Reuters
south africa xenophobic attacks
Police encourage a group of foreign nationals to return to their homes after a peace march in DurbanRogan Ward/Reuters
south africa xenophobic attacks
People take cover from a stun grenade and tear gas after clashes between locals and foreign nationals in DurbanAFP
south africa xenophobic attacks
People run for cover from a stun grenade and tear gas in DurbanAFP

In the days before the peace march in Durban, more than 2,000 foreigners fled to camps erected on sports fields around the city, afraid to return home.

President Jacob Zuma urged South Africans to stop attacking immigrants, calling the attacks "shocking and unacceptable," adding that "no amount of frustration and anger can ever justify the attacks on foreign nationals".

South Africa is a major destination for asylum seekers and refugees, and the country currently houses more than 300,000 asylum seekers, according to projections by the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, said UNHCR spokeswoman Tina Ghelli.

The second spate of attacks this year in South Africa began after the Zulu monarch, King Goodwill Zwelithini, said that immigrants should "take their bags and go." Zulus comprise one of South Africa's largest ethnic groups. "We must deal with our own lice," he said, also complaining about foreign-owned shops. However, Zwelithini claims that his comments were distorted by the media.

south africa xenophobic attacks
A foreign national, wearing a "South Africa" jacket, clears items from his shop for fear of attacks in Primrose, outside JohannesburgSiphiwe Sibeko/Reuters
south africa xenophobic attacks
Men carry a refrigerator as foreign nationals pack up their shops in Primrose, about 15km east of JohannesburgMujahid Safodien/AFP
south africa xenophobic attacks
A man loads goods onto a truck as foreign nationals pack up their shopsMujahid Safodien/AFP
south africa xenophobic attacks
East African men watch their goods being transported as foreign nationals pack up their shopsMujahid Safodien/AFP

"Xenophobia today can easily mutate into genocide tomorrow. Stop it," tweeted Zimbabwe Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, adding that the Zulu king should "extinguish what he ignited".