President Jacob Zuma has condemned acts of violence by South Africans
against foreigners, his office said on Friday.
Anti-immigrant violence has flared sporadically in South Africa
against a background of near-record unemployment, with foreigners
being accused of taking jobs from citizens and getting involved in
Citizens in Pretoria are set to march against foreigners on Friday and
domestic media are reporting vandalism and acts of violence in the
Atteridgeville area west of the capital.
At least 20 stores in Pretoria owned by foreigners were looted on
Tuesday, but police could not confirm that the attacks had
deliberately targeted foreigners.
“Many citizens of other countries living in South Africa are law
abiding and contribute to the economy of the country positively.
“It is wrong to brandish all non-nationals as drug dealers or human traffickers.
“The threats and counter-threats on social media must stop,” Mr. Zuma
said in a statement.
The Nigerian government on Thursday urged the South African government
to put in place measures to end the incessant xenophobic attacks on
Nigerians in that country.
Minister of State Foreign Affairs, Khadija Abba-Ibrahim, gave the task
in Abuja during a second summon to the High Commissioner of South
Africa to Nigeria, Lulu Aaron-Mnguni, on the issue.
The Ministry had on Monday, summoned the South Africa High
Commissioner over the matter.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Nigerian buildings, properties
and places of worship worth millions of dollars were destroyed on Feb.
5 and 18.
“The Federal Government strongly urges the South African government to
take all necessary measures to protect the lives and foreigners living
and working in South Africa.
“Furthermore, the federal government urges the South African
Government to bring perpetrators of these deplorable acts of violence
“The ministry continues to urge Nigerians in South Africa to remain
calm and law abiding, and be vigilant at the same time.’’
“The Federal Government of Nigeria will strenuously work towards the
protection of Nigerians everywhere, including in South Africa,” she
However, the minister said that no Nigerian lost their lives in the
attacks contrary to reports in some media.
According to her, the reports that mentioned the killing of Nigerians
in the xenophobic attacks are unsubstantiated.
“The ministry has not received the report of any death of Nigerian in
the latest incidents of attacks against foreigners.
“The Nigerian High Commission in Pretoria is in constant touch with
the Nigerian Union in South Africa, the Department of International
Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) of South Africa, as well as the
South African police.
“All these agencies have confirmed that no Nigerian life was lost in
the recent incident,” she said.