Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba has ascribed the looting and arson in parts of Johannesburg to criminality.
He says the violence and chaos are motivated by xenophobia to a lesser extent.
I think for me, it's a combination. But to a large extent, it's criminal.— Herman Mashaba - Mayor of Johannesburg
Mashaba has rubbished any claims that his comments on foreign nationals may have fuelled violence in central Joburg.
Jeppestown, Malvern, Hillbrow, Tembisa, Turffontein and parts of Tshwane have all come under siege.
The mayor insists that the national government has failed citizens by not tightening South Africa's porous borders.
Mashaba says he's not apologetic for speaking out about undocumented persons and hijacked buildings in the CBD.
He argues that the attacks and unrest in central Joburg are a result of the breakdown of law and order in South Africa.
I'm putting this at the door of the South African government for failing to ensure that we have law and order.— Herman Mashaba - Mayor of Johannesburg
He suggests that undocumented foreign nationals are responsible for human trafficking, the trade of counterfeit goods and other "criminal reasons".
South Africans have always embraced foreign nationals, the only thing South Africans don't want is total lawlessness.— Herman Mashaba - Mayor of Johannesburg
How can anyone claim that I'm promoting criminality when I'm asking that we deal with the rule of law.— Herman Mashaba - Mayor of Johannesburg
Listen to the full discussion on Today with Kieno Kammies:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Mashaba says unrest in Joburg CBD boils down to criminality