“The violent outburst and reaction by the asylum seekers is in violation of the law and will not be tolerated,” department of communications spokesman Donald Liphoko said in a statement.
Approximately 1000 foreigners gathered at the building on Thursday morning and started fighting among themselves.
They were reportedly angry about being told to return to the places where they originally applied for asylum. They threw stones in protest and police fired rubber bullets and tear gas in return.
Customs House is a regional home affairs building dealing with asylum-seeker and refugee applications.
Such actions breached the spirit of South African law and that there were policies and forums in place where asylum seekers could raise their concerns, Liphoko said.
“Government encourages continued dialogue to resolve such matters and remains committed to supporting and assisting those with valid reasons for seeking asylum in our country.”