The Federal Government has released a statement condemning the recent attack on businesses owned by Nigerians in South Africa. Some aggrieved South Africans had accused Nigerians and other African Nationals of engaging in drug trafficking. In anger, they destroyed and burnt their businesses and homes. Read the statement from the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs below.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is seriously concerned about the incidents of xenophobic violence against foreigners including Nigerians and other Africans in South Africa. The latest incident happened on 5th February, 2017 in the suburb of Rosettenville, Johannesburg and it involved attacks against foreigners including Pakistanis, Nigerians, and other Africans.
Domestic grievances over ownership of homes and default in payment of mortgages were used as justification to attack foreigners not in any way involved in the repossession and subsequent resale of these properties.It would be recalled that in 2015, domestic grievances over unemployment and other challenges faced by South Africans were also used as justification to attack and kill.The Nigerian Government strongly urges the South African Government to take the strongest measures to protect the lives and property of foreigners living in South Africa and also to quickly bring to justice the perpetrators of these heinous crimes.The Ministry utterly deplores these acts of mindless violence and unwarranted attacks against other nationals in South Africa simply on the basis of their nationality or status. International law, and the age-old written law of hospitality amongst nations and societies recognize the sanctity of the lives and property of foreigners everywhere.The Ministry has also observed that incidents of xenophobic attacks have continued unabated in South Africa since 2015, and that Nigerians are among the groups that have been mainly targeted for attack and looting of their property.The Ministry has urged Nigerians in South Africa to remain calm and law abiding but vigilant. It has also intensified contacts at high level with the South African authorities to address this unacceptable situation.The Federal Government of Nigeria unequivocally insists on, and will strenuously work towards, the protection of Nigerians anywhere, including in South Africa.The High Commissioner of South Africa to Nigeria is being summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs during which Government’s concerns on this matter would be brought to his attention.