At least 153 people have been arrested in South Africa after a looting frenzy in Soweto township in Johannesburg.

It is believed at least two people have been killed and 80 foreign-owned shops looted in retaliation to the alleged killing of a teenager by a Somalian shopkeeper on Monday 19 January.

The 14-year-old youth was shot after he allegedly tried to break into the shop, news agency Sapa reported.

The killing prompted violent looting, in which another two people, a 19-year-old youth bystander and a 74-year-old Malawian shopkeeper, died.

"It is alleged that the members of the community staged a revenge and started looting foreign national shops in the area. The owners of shops fired several shots towards the community to defend themselves," the South African police said in a statement.

Lt-Gen Solomon Makgale said on Friday 23 January that police was still deployed in Soweto.

"Members are sent to scenes as the complaints come in. There were incidents at Langlaagte and Eldorado Park. A group of boys tried to loot a Pakistani shop in Eldorado Park, but the police were quick to respond and the teenagers dispersed before they could cause damage," he said.

"We urge the community to remain calm and we want to assure the citizens of this province that every effort is being made to ensure law and order prevails."

Most of those arrested have been charged with public violence and at least one person is being held for murder.