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Home affairs dept reviews security systems

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba emphasised the importance of regulating immigration in the country.

FILE: Police are trying to disperse a large crowd of around 2,000 people following a standoff between foreign shop owners and locals in Durban on 14 April 2015. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba says the department has had to review its security systems and measures following the recent wave of xenophobic violence in parts of the country.

Violence against foreigners erupted in Kwazulu-Natal two weeks ago and quickly spread to the Johannesburg CBD, Alexandra and some parts of the East Rand.

While law enforcement officials try to contain the situation, 350 South African National Defence Force troops have been deployed across South Africa's borders to assist those returning to their home countries after they were displaced during the clashes.

Speaking to the media in Pretoria this afternoon Gigaba emphasised the importance of regulating immigration in the country.

"Every foreign national entering the country must apply in person and these incidents highlight the importance of knowing who is here and how did they get here."

The minister has called on South African's to bring an end to the violence.

"At times we think our country is immune to the challenges other parts of the continent face but the fact is all those challenges face us too."

LISTEN: What are the effects of xenophobia on foreign nationals?

SPECIAL XENOPHOBIA COURTS SET UP

State Security Minister David Mahlobo says special courts have been set up to deal with the speedy prosecution of those linked to the recent xenophobic attacks.

So far 307 people have been arrested countrywide.

Mahlobo says as with the World cup in 2010, they have set aside resources such as specialised courts and prosecutors to ensure offenders are brought to book speedily.

He also says legal aid will be made available for those who need it.

At least eight people have been killed in the recent attacks countrywide.

OVER 1,500 ZIMBABWEANS CROSS BEITBRIDGE BORDER

Over 1,500 Zimbabweans are expected to pass the Beitbridge Border Post this afternoon following the violence.

The Zimbabwean nationals indicated to President Jacob Zuma yesterday that they wish to return home.

WATCH: Zuma addresses displaced foreign nationals.

Two Zimbabweans died in those clashes.

Zimbabwe's Civil Protection Unit says it's made arrangements to facilitate the arrival and ferrying of people from Beitbridge to their respective places.

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