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KZN xenophobic attacks: Situation still tense

The violence is believed to have been ignited by King Goodwill Zwelithini's calls for foreigners to leave SA.

FILE: Somali expats on the streets of "Little Mogadishu" in Mayfair, downtown Johannesburg. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - As hundreds of foreign nationals remain under police guard in shelters, following ongoing xenophobic attacks KwaZulu-Natal, police say the situation is still tense.

Officials are still on high alert after two Ethiopian nationals were petrol bombed on Friday when they were sleeping in a container used as a spaza shop.

The two are being treated for burn wounds.

The violence is believed to have been ignited by King Goodwill Zwelithini's calls for foreigners to leave the country, a claim the provincial government has dismissed.

The police's Thulani Zwane said, "It is still tense. The police are still patrolling and monitoring the situation."

A total of 17 people have since been arrested for murders, assault, business robberies and public violence.

Police will continue to maintain a strong presence in areas like Umlazi, Isipingo, Chatsworth and Malukazi this weekend.

Meanwhile, the Education Department has reaffirmed its stance for history to be taught at all schools so South Africans can understand the role other African nations played in abolishing apartheid.

As xenophobic attacks around parts of the country gain momentum there have been calls for Ubuntu and social cohesion to be introduced as subjects in schools.

The Education Department says it already teaches tolerance in life orientation and has asked churches and communities to help them in spreading the message.