Thousands of foreigners sought refuge at crowded community centres and police stations in
Mobs roaming through poor townships around
Most horrifying of all, for a country which thought the worst was behind it, has been the return of necklacing, the appalling method of killing which involves putting a petrol-filled tyre around a victim's neck and setting it ablaze.
Now necklacing is being used against Zimbabweans and Mozambicans who have fled violence and poverty in their own countries.
In horrific attacks, mainly around
Now the refugees are being blamed for the jobs shortage, as well as the high rate of violent crime. Many in the townships also believe they are given preferential treatment on housing, a claim denied by the authorities.
Yesterday gangs of South Africans were touring townships, squatter camps and poorer suburbs, demanding to see people's identification papers to check their nationalities.
President Thabo Mbeki and ANC leader Jacob Zuma have both condemned the violence.
Mr Mbeki has been widely criticised for his failed 'quiet diplomacy' towards Zimbabwe which has seen a flood of refugees from the country where thousands are starving and supporters of opposition parties are being tortured and killed.