Radebe also said that the situation was being monitored by police, who were still investigating the motive behind the attack.

The Mercury newspaper quoted John Lazarus, a Durban police spokesperson, as saying that anti-immigrants groups had ordered the foreigners to "leave KwaZulu Natal", the country's most populous province.

Xenophobic violence broke out in Johannesburg, about 600km, north of Durban, 10 days ago and has claimed 24 lives, displaced 13,000 people and seen scores injured by rampaging mobs bearing axes, machetes and razing shacks to the ground.

'Quiet night'

Locals accuse foreigners, millions of whom migrate to South Africa in search of jobs and a better life, of committing crime and depriving them of employment opportunities.


Govindsamy Mariemuthoo, Johannesburg police spokesman, said the situation had been calm overnight, with only a few incidents to the east of the city that police quickly brought under control.

 

He said: "It has been quiet in the area overnight but there were a few incidents. For example, in the East Rand in Gugulethu and Ramaphosa informal settlements one shack each was set alight there."

 

"In Tembisa seven people were arrested for public violence and in Rabie Ridge three people were shot and taken to hospital. In Kya Sands police dispersed a crowd of about 100 people."

Source: Agencies