South Africans have defied orders by President Jacob Zuma asking them to stop looting from stores belonging to foreign migrants.
Violent clashes have spread over the last two weeks and a 200-strong anti-immigrant protest on Thursday was dispersed by police firing rubber bullets and tear gas.
Foreign nationals have complained that the South African police are failing to protect them, raising the prospect of a row between Pretoria and its neighbours, as well as stirring hostility to South Africans working abroad.
Violence flared days after Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini said in remarks reported by local media that, foreigners should leave South Africa. He has since said his comments were misinterpreted.
On Thursday, President Zuma condemned the recent xenophobic attacks as "shocking". "No amount of frustration or anger can justify the attacks on foreign nationals and the looting of their shops," he added.
South Africans have defied orders by Jacob Zuma and continued to loot from shops from foreign African nationals.