#Xenophobia: Order restored to Alexandra

After days of violence and the death of Emmanuel Sithole, it seems calm has been restored to the township.

Pan, the business hub of Alexandra, where things are gradually returning to normal following attacks on foreign nationals over the past two weeks. Picture: Aurelie Kalenga/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - After a violent few days in the Alexandra township, it seems the presence of the army has restored order.

But Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula's visit to the area yesterday, along with her State Security and Home Affairs counterparts, seems to have been met with mixed reaction.

Mapisa-Nqakula yesterday announced the Defence Force would be deployed to supplement police efforts and to restore order to xenophobia-stricken areas.

WATCH: Why did govt deploy troops to xenophobic hotspots?

With police confirming that no further incidents of crime were reported overnight, some foreigners are still staying away.

London Road, which was the scene of violent clashes, looting and the shooting of rubber bullets, seems to be much calmer this morning.

Children in uniform are making their way to school and residents are sweeping the area.

Some foreign shop owners have opened since yesterday, feeling much safer with the presence of the army.

A crew cleans up outside a hostel in Alexandra post-xenophobic violence. Picture: Aurelie Kalenga/EWN

However, along the street there are still some shops, believed to belong to foreigners, which remain shut.

Foreign shop owners in the townships say South Africa is a wonderful country and have pleaded with locals, especially those at the hostels, to stop the violence.

WATCH: Safety of foreigners now in the hands of the military:

At the same time, The minister has assured the nation that people's rights will not be violated during the army's operation in xenophobia hotspots.

She says this was the right time to bring in reinforcements.

"I am one of those people who really don't believe in the Defence Force moving around and patrolling in the townships precisely because of the memories of the 80s, which we have. And it's for that reason that it is decided in the Constitution that we will make sure that the Defence Force has no role to play internally here."

Meanwhile, an Ethiopian man has told Eyewitness News how he hid in a fridge to save his own life as locals were looting foreign-owned shops and attacking foreign nationals.

"For maybe about 30 minutes, I was in a fridge because those people were going to hit me."

Safi Jarson, aged 21, says he lost goods to the value of R14,000.

He says he arrived in South Africa in 2012, searching for a better life, but now says he's looking for any opportunity to leave.

Alexandra was the epicentre of xenophobic attacks in 2008.

It's also where Mozambican national Emmanuel Sithole was attacked, beaten and stabbed by a group of four men, in full view of community members.