Jeff Radebe: South Africa is a non-violent country

He says a few individuals cannot be allowed to hold the whole country at ransom.

FILE: Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe4. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Minister in the Presidency, Jeff Radebe, says South Africa as a non-violent country will not be held to ransom by a minority intent on harming foreigners and expelling them from the country.

Radebe made the remarks at a post cabinet briefing in Pretoria today, where the xenophobic violence was top of the agenda.

Radebe says the violent xenophobia is out-of-character in this country.

"South Africa is not a violent country and therefore a few individuals cannot, cannot be allowed to hold the whole country at ransom."

Radebe says those guilty of this violence must be mindful of the impact this is having on the country's image.

He appealed to all South Africans to unite against xenophobia.

Police had their hands full using live ammunition, teargas and rubber bullets in central Johannesburg CBD overnight in the latest flare-up of xenophobic violence.

Officers tried to prevent angry mobs from looting foreign-owned businesses.

Locals in Jeppestown and Cleveland blocked roads with rocks and burning tyres ordering foreigners to leave the country.