Police round up 200 illegals in Joburg

South African police have arrested 198 illegal immigrants in a raid in Johannesburg, according to officials.

The arrests came after a spate of xenophobic attacks by local mobs which targeted immigrant workers from Zimbabwe, Malawi and other African countries.

The unrest has left at least seven people dead in the past month. Police and soldiers arrested 212 people in Lenasia township south of Johannesburg on Thursday, including 14 South African citizens.

Unlicensed firearms, other weapons and marijuana were seized in the raid.

Millions of African migrants work in South Africa, many of them illegally.

The Limpopo provincial government has ruled out xenophobia in an incident where shops belonging to foreign nationals were looted and set alight on Wednesday.

This came after members of the public in Thabazimbi looted four Pakistani shops on Monday before midnight and again on Tuesday, resulting in the arrest of 13 people.

“As the provincial government of Limpopo we do not believe the looting and burning of the shops belonging to foreign nationals were part of xenophobic attacks,” said spokesperson Phuti Seloba on Wednesday.

“We know and believe that these are just criminal elements. We have since called the police to act and have sent the MEC for Community Safety and Security Mapula Mokaba-Phukwana to talk to the public. They are now calm.”