South Africa sent soldiers on Tuesday to help stop anti-immigrant violence in areas of Durban and Johannesburg, where at least seven people have been killed in the past three weeks.
South Africa has been criticised by governments, including China, Nigeria and Zimbabwe, for failing to protect foreigners as armed mobs were shown on TV looting immigrant-owned shops and front-page photographs in a Sunday newspaper showed a Mozambican man being beaten and stabbed to death in broad daylight.
Defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said a Zimbabwean couple were shot in the Johannesburg shanty town of Alexandra on Monday night but survived.
Briefing reporters on the deployment of troops to Alexandra and to the coastal town of Durban, where the violence started, she said: “There will be those who will be critical of this decision but the vulnerable will appreciate it.”
Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini defended himself on Monday against claims that previous comments he made about foreigners sparked the anti-immigrant attacks.