Malawi says it will repatriate its nationals from South Africa, following an upsurge in xenophobic violence.
At least five foreigners, including a 14-year-old boy, have been killed in attacks in South Africa’s coastal city of Durban since last week.
Some foreign-owned shops in the main city Johannesburg have shut amid fears that the violence could spread.
Zimbabwe has also condemned the attacks, blamed on locals who accuse foreigners of taking their jobs.
Tens of thousands of foreigners, mostly from other African states and Asia, have moved to South Africa since white-minority rule ended in 1994.
At least 62 people died in xenophobic attacks that swept South Africa in 2008.
Malawi is the only country which has so far decided to repatriate its citizens.
Information Minister Kondwani Nankhumwa said the first group would return at the weekend.
About 420 Malawians are reportedly living in refugee camps in Durban after fleeing the violence, he said.
The BBC’s Raphael Tenthani reports from Blantyre that he received a call from a Malawian in Durban who said saw he some Malawians being killed – including a close friend who was burned alive.
Mr Nankhumwa called on the African Union (AU) and the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) to intervene to help protect foreigners.
“This is unfortunate coming at a time we are working on regional integration,” he said at a press conference.
“We urge the government of South Africa to protect foreigners,” he added.
In total, the violence has left about 5,000 foreigners homeless in Durban, local media reports.
Many of them also had their shops looted, and the violence spread on Tuesday night to Verulam, a town about 30km (18 miles) north of Durban.
The government has ordered police to step up patrols to prevent the violence from escalating.
The governing African National Congress (ANC) said in a statement that South Africans should “hang our heads in shame in the face of these misguided and misplaced assaults”.