Police arrested dozens of people in Johannesburg after rioters looted shops, burned tyres and blocked road junctions – the second outbreak of urban rioting in a week.
Police were unable to say what triggered the violence, although unemployment at close to 30%, widespread poverty and income disparities are all blamed for recent disturbances and attacks on immigrants.
Last week, hundreds of protesters in Pretoria set fire to buildings, looted mostly foreign-owned businesses and clashed with police, who fired rubber bullets.
“We’ve stabilised the situation and arrested a few dozen people ,” Johannesburg police spokesman Wayne Minnaar said.
“We can’t confirm the final figure but they will be charged with public violence. There’s also a charge of attempted murder under investigation.”
He could not confirm reports that police fired rubber bullets at rioters or say whether businesses attacked were foreign-owned.