President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday condemned a wave of xenophobic violence unfurling in several parts of South Africa.
Attacks on businesses run by “foreign nationals is something totally unacceptable, something that we cannot allow to happen in South Africa,” Ramaphosa said in a video address diffused on Twitter.
South African police have fanned out across several neighborhoods in Johannesburg and the capital Pretoria, as sporadic looting and arson attacks entered its third day in South Africa.
Police said as of Tuesday they have arrested more than 90 people in five areas impacted by the violence. Many gutted, emptied shops remained closed as shop owners feared to return to their property.
Many of the impacted property owners are foreigners. Some African governments have warned citizens living in South Africa to take safety precautions and have expressed frustration with yet another wave of attacks targeting foreign-owned businesses in the country.
South African officials, however, have so far insisted the violence has been driven by opportunistic criminals and organized crime groups, not xenophobia.