Xenophobia: Police activate Joint Operational Centres across SA

The centres will run on a 24-hour basis to help deal with the latest flare-up of xenophobic violence.

Foreign nationals gesture after clashes broke out between a group of locals and police in Durban on 14 April, 2015 in ongoing violence against foreign nationals in Durban, South Africa. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG/DURBAN - The South African Police Service (Saps) have announced that 'Joint Operational Centres' are being activated across the country to help deal with the latest flare-up of xenophobic violence.

The police's Solomon Makgale says the centres will be run on a 24-hour basis.

"We have also activated similar centres across the different provinces. What we've also done is we've deployed additional crime intelligence operators on the ground so that they can provide us with information as to what is going on at a community level."

At least five people including a 14-year-old boy have been killed in the latest wave of violence in KwaZulu-Natal with tensions spilling over into Gauteng.

WATCH: Xenophobic attacks in Johannesburg's CBD.

Police say that additional crime intelligence operatives will also be deployed to help collect information to hold off possible attacks.

Detective's handling xenophobia-related cases have also been instructed to work closely with prosecutors to ensure convictions.

Meanwhile, hundreds of foreigners have spent the night at the Primrose Place Station and a nearby petrol station in Germiston after they were forced to flee their homes.

PICTURE: A standoff has erupted between foreign owners and locals in Durban on 14 April 2015. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN

Xenophobic violence and looting of foreign owned shops broke out in the area late last night.

Some displaced foreigners say they were physically forced out of their homes.

A man from Zimbabwe says he is afraid of what he will find when he makes his way home this morning.

He says he was woken up by gunshots last night and immediately ran for his life along with his neighbours.

"We heard gunshots and we were told to get out. We had to join others and flee. Some were injured and one died."

Hundreds of foreigners were forced to seek refuge at the police station and a nearby petrol station under police guard.

Women lay on the pavement with their young children as temperatures continued to plummet overnight.

A foreign shop owner was shot in the foot as he tried to stop his shop from being looted.

Police says they will assess the full extent of the damage this morning.

WATCH: Xenophobic violence rocks Durban CBD


At the same time, thousands of peace marchers in Durban are making their way to the Curries Fountain Sports Development Centre.

They have travelled through the night to show solidarity with the foreigners under attack.

The trip has been facilitated by activist Shaka Sisulu and Khaya Dlanga who've called on people from across the country to take part in today's march.

At least five people have died and scores of others have been left without their possessions when their businesses were torched.

President Jacob Zuma will try to ease xenophobic tensions by addressing the National Assembly this afternoon.

In a pre-recorded message broadcast on South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) radio and TV yesterday, he called for an end to the killing and condemned the attacks.

WATCH: Jacob Zuma tries to ease tensions:

Visit EWN's live blog for rolling updates on the xenophobic attacks.