“Any type of violence, including looting of shops owned by Somali nationals is illegal, wrong and has no place in South Africa,” African National Congress provincial secretary Oscar Mabuyane said in a statement.
“The SA Police Service members are the first and last line of defence for our communities, and we call on them to use the law and public order policing techniques to stop this wave of violence.”
Eastern Cape police said seven men had been arrested at the weekend for looting and burning Somali-owned shops in Port Elizabeth.
At least 10 shops in KwaZakhele and New Brighton were attacked.
Brigadier Miranda Mills said two shops were looted and burnt in Ntintili street, and a car parked outside was set alight.
Several other shops were targeted on Sunday following the arrest of a Somali man accused of shooting dead a man outside a shop on Saturday evening.
Police had since moved some foreigners out of the area.
Mabuyane said the ANC in the province was calling on residents in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro to refrain from taking the law into their own hands.
“Somali nationals must also stop using violence to resolve challenges they face but must put their trust in the police to deal with any challenge.
“Violence will not help us deal with any situation but will make matters worse for our people,” he said. – Sapa