Govt Laments Incessant Attacks On Nigeria Businesses in South Africa

The Nigerian government has called on the African Union and the South African government to take decisive and definitive measures to protect Nigerian citizens and other Africans within South African borders.

Nigerians on social media and elsewhere have been called on their government to impose sanctions on South African business interests in Nigeria as a way of showing displeasure over the xenophobic attacks, but Abuja has cautioned against any retaliatory actions.

The Nigerian Community in South Africa led by Ikechukwu Anyene confirmed the attacks and looting of Nigerian-owned businesses in Pretoria West on Saturday.

A statement by the Ministry, made available to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), stated that the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria had been summoned by the ministry over the matter.

She accused the government of over-protecting the businesses and interests of South Africa to the detriment of Nigeria.

"These attacks should not be allowed to continue because it is a big setback", Anyene said.

Speaking with reporters at the National Assembly Chairperson Rita Orji said she was not going to be part of the "conspiracy of silence".

The seizure of the $9.3 million drew heavy controversies and counter accusations from both Nigeria and the South African governments but for timely intervention the dispute would have degenerated into serious diplomatic row.

The presidency said there was a need for the continental body to "intervene urgently", claiming that in the past two years "about 116" Nigerians had been killed, including 20 in 2016. This is unacceptable to the people and Government of Nigeria, " she said.

The Rosettenville unrest of last week - when residents torched about 10 houses allegedly belonging to drug dealers - "is replicating in Pretoria West", the forum said in a statement on Saturday.

An independent watchdog has said 640 people died from police brutality or in custody in South Africa.

"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". Before this time, several of them had been killed in extra-judicial manner. "In 2013, when there was xenophobic attacks, former President Goodluck Jonathan signed a Memorandum of Understanding to re-enforce diplomatic ties", she recalled. There are several incidences of xenophobic attacks on Nigeria in South Africa.

  • Leroy Wright