JOHANNESBURG, Oct. 16 -- A Mozambican man was believed to be the main perpetrator in the murder of two South African children whose tragic deaths sparked nationwide outrage, police said on Wednesday.
A massive manhunt is underway to arrest the suspect whose name was withheld by police.
The bodies of the children, two girls aged two and three, were found in a public toilet in Diepsloot, north of Johannesburg Tuesday morning.
The two girls were found half naked and mutilated, the South African Broadcasting Corporation said.
Residents in Diepsloot took to the streets on Tuesday, venting their anger and demanding justice. They looted foreign-owned shops, stoned passing vehicles and burned tyres. But by Wednesday morning, order has been restored in the township after police intervened.
"We want to make sure that the people who have done this are brought to book," said national police commissioner Riah Phiyega.
So far four suspects have turned themselves in to police, and the fifth one, a Mozambican man, is still on the run, said major general Norman Taioa, head of detectives in Gauteng Province.
"I can safely say that they (the four suspects in custody) are of foreign origin, and the main perpetrator that we are looking at would be a Mozambican citizen," Taioa told reporters.
The suspects who turned themselves in are from Mozambique and Swaziland, according to police.
The fifth suspect was believed to be the person who brutally assaulted and murdered the two toddlers.
Tension has been running high between local residents and foreigners in Diepsloot following the tragedy.
There has been fears that the murder would fuel xenophobia in South Africa where attacks on foreigners are not uncommon.
Several places like Gauteng and Eastern Cape Provinces recently witnessed spates of violence directed against foreigners, including refugees and asylum-seekers.
In March, a Mozambican taxi driver, Mido Macia, died in a South African police cell after being dragged behind a police vehicle.
The South African governments has pledged to curb attacks on xenophobia attacks in the country.
Following the Diepsloot tragedy, president Jacob Zuma appealed to the communities not to take the matters into their own hands, and urged them to work with law enforcement authorities to find the perpetrators and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.