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South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa Sends Envoy To Nigeria, 7 Other African Countries |The Republican News

South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa

Cyril Ramaphosa, president of South Africa, has dispatched three envoys to seven African countries, including Nigeria, to deliver messages of pan-African unity.

This is after he was booed in Zimbabwe on Saturday at Robert Mugabe’s funeral while addressing mourners.

He, however, apologised to the crowd saying the attacks on foreign nationals in South Africa was against the principles of the unity of the African people.

Apart from Nigeria, the envoys are also scheduled to visit Niger, Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia.

Khusela Diko, a presidential spokesperson, said on Sunday that the special envoys will deliver a message from Ramaphosa regarding the incidents of violence that recently erupted in some parts of South Africa, which have manifested in attacks on foreign nationals and destruction of property.

Diko said the envoys will reassure fellow African countries that South Africa is committed to the ideals of pan-African unity and solidarity.

He added that they will also brief governments in the identified African countries about the steps that the South African government is taking to bring a stop to the attacks and hold the perpetrators to account.

The recent xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals had sparked criticism against the South African government across the continent.

Nigeria had boycotted the recent World Economic Summit that held in Cape Town, following the attacks on Nigerians.

The president had also ordered the immediate evacuation of Nigerians willing to leave the country after receiving the report of a special envoy sent to evaluate the attacks on Nigerians living in South Africa.

Of the 640 Nigerians that have
indicated interest to return home, 187 have been airlifted by Air Peace and arrived the country on Wednesday.

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Xenophobia: Fresh Wave Of Attack Looms As Armed South African Youths Hit Streets, Ask Foreigners To Leave

Armed South African youths protesters

A fresh round of violence is currently building up in the streets of Johannesburg, South Africa, as armed protesters are out again, demanding that foreigners should return to where they came from.

According to Sowetan Live, a South African newspaper, the protesters, who carried weapons such as knobkerries, are waiting to be addressed by Mangosuthu Buthelezi, a notable politician and Zulu tribe leader.

This is coming one week after attacks on foreigners sparked reactions across the continent.

Nigeria, Rwanda and Malawi had pulled out of the World Economic Forum which held in South Africa while Zambia cancelled an international friendly match with South Africa over the violence against foreigners.

In reprisal attacks in Nigeria, South African-owned businesses were targetted. An MTN office was burnt down in Ibadan, Oyo state, while another office of the telecoms giant was vandalised in Abuja.

MTN had to shut its offices nationwide. Shoprite outlets were also targetted in Lagos, forcing the company to halt its operations across the country.

The South Africa High Commission in Nigeria also suspended operations.

During an assessment tour of some of the affected places, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos state, said 5,000 people were currently out of jobs as a result of the reprisal.

The police announced that 125 persons were arrested in connection with the violence while South African authorities said over 400 persons were arrested.

But amid the rift between Nigeria and South Africa, Naledi Pandor, South African minister of foreign affairs, said many Nigerians in her country are involved in drug trafficking. A comment which irked Geoffrey Onyeama, her Nigerian counterpart, who accused her of fuelling xenophobia.

In its report on Sunday, Sowetan Live said the leadership of hostel dwellers in Johannesburg has asked the government to engage the citizens about finding solutions to the clashes with foreign nationals.

Siphiwe Mhlongo, chairman of hostel headmen (izinduna) in Gauteng, was quoted as saying: “We are not happy with how government has tried to resolve the problems that the country is facing. The government must come speak to the people and explain what it is going to do with the foreign nationals who are here illegally.”

He said the residents were angry at jobs being take by foreign nationals, unhappy about drugs and RDP houses being owned by foreigners.

“Everyone who is in South Africa has that feeling that foreign nationals must go back home. But we don’t say foreign nationals must be beaten up; we are the leaders,” he said.

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How Nigerians Are Killed In South Africa In Tales Of Torture, Murder |RN

By Juliana Francis

 

On April 21, Nigerians woke up to hear the horrifying news of the murder of Clement Nwaogu in South Africa. Although Nwaogu was not the first Nigerian who had been killed by the xenophobic South Africans, the manner of his murder had people dashing to catch the vomiting bowl. According to horrified witnesses, Nwaogu was burnt alive by an angry mob. Incidentally, some South African policemen were said to have stood, watching as the mob made preparation and set Nwaogu on fire.

His screams of pains didn’t touch the frenzied crowd, let alone the policemen, who had sworn to protect lives and property as they received their commissions and police badges. The Publicity Secretary of the Nigeria Union in South Africa, Mr Habib Miller, told our correspondent on the phone that Nwaogu, from Anambra State, was attacked and killed by a mob in Rustenburg, North West Province. Miller said that the victim was murdered over his accent and habit, which the killers found offensive.

He added: “The mob descended on him with all sorts of dangerous weapons, as if he was a criminal, in the presence of South African police officers. Eyewitnesses said the victim beckoned for help from the police to intervene and help him, but they didn’t.

When Nwaogu could no longer persevere, he ran and the mob chased and caught him, poured petrol on him and set him ablaze.” Nwaogu was married to a South African and was blessed with two children; aged five and three.

Nwaogu’s murder followed the killing of ThankGod Okoro (30) by the South African Police Flying Squad. Okoro, from Enugu State, was shot dead at Hamburg, Florida West Rand, Johannesburg on April 9.

It appears that no month goes by without one Nigerian getting killed, attacked or tortured. Nigerians in South African were still mourning Nwaogu and Okoro when two more Nigerians were killed this month.

The murder of the two, Francis Ochuba and Chidi Ibebuike, brought the official number of those killed since February 2016 to 118. It is believed that many others had been murdered, which fellow Nigerians do not know about. They are Nigerians in South Africa, who had simply disappeared into thin air.

Till date, nobody knows their whereabouts. Ochuba, a property owner, was shot dead alongside his estate agent, a female South African on May 5. They were killed while visiting the tenant occupying Ochuba’s house to collect rent.

The incident occurred in Central Johannesburg. Ibebuike, on the other hand, was shot at the entrance to his house at Hazyview in Mpumalanga on May 13 and his car taken. In January, perturbed by the escalating cases of Nigerians being attacked and killed, some Nigerians in South Africa staged a peaceful protest.

South African police swooped on them. They have been in detention since then. Most times, when these killings are being carried out, the killers gleefully record them in video and later upload the videos to YouTube. Many reasons had been attributed to the continued murder of Nigerians in South Africa by the natives.

Nigerians have been accused of often being connected to drug trafficking, prostitution and human trafficking rings. Other absurd reasons are that Nigerians are picking the choice jobs, accommodation and women in South Africa.

But whatever the reasons, Nigerians living in South Africa are today calling for the end of the xenophobic attacks and threats. According to them, their wives and children are now living in fear, with their lives being daily threatened.

This was even as they alleged that the Nigerian government was not doing enough to ensure their protection. Miller said that a violent group in Rustenburg had earlier given Nigerians notice to vacate the area or get killed. According to him, since the order was issued, there have been numerous cases of Nigerians being kidnapped with ransom paid to their abductors.

Miller said that the 14 Nigerians in custody protested the murder of a Nigerian by policemen on December 17 after they failed to extort money from the deceased. Miller noted that the police officers had since been released on bail while those who protested the killing were still languishing in detention.

He added: “We’re worried that nothing has been done by the Nigerian government to stop the killings. We once again call on the Nigerian mission in South Africa to do the needful urgently because things are getting out of hand.”

There have been allegations that so many Nigerians are arrested and abandoned in South African prisons. Miller said: “We are not sure of the number of Nigerians incarcerated in South Africa but we have intentions of finding out.” Worried by the increasing killings, he said: “It’s important to note that a violent group in Rustenburg has given Nigerians in the North West Province a quit or be killed without notice. Since January that the threat was issued, there have been numerous cases of Nigerians kidnapped and ransom remitted to abductors before they were liberated.

Mr Desmond, from Niger Delta, whose loved ones couldn’t afford to pay the ransom requested by his abductors, was inhumanely killed. Furthermore, there have been reports of eight cars belonging to Nigerians burnt.

Houses occupied by Nigerians are often ransacked and Nigerians are molested and injured. Looting of Nigerian-owned businesses and a threat to lives of Nigerians are occurring on a daily basis. Nigerians in Rustenburg still live in fear.”

He said that most of the men killed were breadwinners of their families in South Africa and Nigeria. Miller added: “The untold anguish, hardship, pain and disorientation they suffered were unimaginable and it calls for deeper reflections.

“Our government officials, who are supposed to pressurise their South African counterparts on these killings, harassment and looting of Nigerian businesses, claimed it was as a result of the illegalities our nationals are involved in. It’s unfortunate that such stance is taken to probably cover the government’s helplessness. South Africa is not the only country with Nigerian immigrants, but why so many killings?

The Nigerian Union of South Africa does not condone crime in any form, but we ask that whoever a suspect should be charged and dealt with. Our advice to the Nigerian government representatives in South Africa is to channel their energy towards eradicating the major complexities Nigerians face in South Africa, which include untimely termination of lives, harassment and business looting.”

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said that the Nigerian government was aware of the arrest and incarceration of the 14 Nigerians and was doing something about it. She said: “The residents of that community have threatened that if the Nigerians on trial are released on bail and return to that community, they would burn all the houses linked to Nigerians there.

They accuse Nigerians of being involved in drugs and prostitution. Nigerians were also accused of taking houses that belong to low-income South Africans and using them for crime-related activities.” Dabiri-Erewa explained that during the last hearing of the case of the 14 Nigerians, which took place a few weeks ago, the lawyer representing the suspects had to be escorted by diplomatic police. The trial was witnessed by officials of the Nigerian High Commission and Consulate.

The lawyer was escorted because the residents have also threatened to deal with anyone who made it possible for the suspects to be released on bail. She said: “Recall that in fulfilment of that threat, a Nigerian found in that area was burnt alive, three days after the last court hearing.

“While we appeal to Nigerians to stay away from crime and violence, South Africans’ killing of Nigerians is not the solution. “The embassy and consulate have been in talks with South African authorities on this. Embassy and consulate officials are meeting with local police, local communities and Nigerians in several communities. They are being proactive now to cement relations with the host communities.”

There are several solutions to check rising cases of Nigerians being killed in South Africa. There has to be more sensitisation and awareness between Nigerians and South Africans, in particularly hostile communities. And most importantly, Nigerians must stop committing a crime. A source said: “It was also alleged that the recent killing of three Nigerians, was actually by Nigerians.

They were cult killings. A cult member killed another, and there was retaliation. It was getting messier.”Speaking on ways to curtail killings of Nigerians, Dabiri-Erewa said: “South Africa should make efforts to arrest the criminals who are giving Nigerians a bad name.”  (New Telegraph)

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Nigeria, South Africa To Use Cultural Diplomacy To End Attacks On Nigerians

The Nigerian and South African Governments are to use cultural diplomacy to end incessant xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the announcement on Friday in Abuja.

He was speaking when the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Lulu Mnguni, paid him a courtesy visit.

Mohammed said that Nigeria and South Africa were two brotherly countries that had enjoyed long-standing relations, in spite of occasional disagreements.

He said the cultural diplomacy was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s recommendations for people-to-people relations between both countries in ending xenophobia.

The minister said that Buhari gave the recommendation when the South African President, Mr Jacob Zuma, paid a state visit to Nigeria.

He said that cultural diplomacy was an effective tool that would end xenophobia and strengthen the understanding between Nigerians and South Africans.

‘‘The options open to us in the area of cultural diplomacy are many but please, permit me to highlight a few of what we are planning to do in the months ahead.

‘‘The ministry of information and culture, working in collaboration with its relevant parastatal agencies is to embark on a series of activities in South Africa to strengthen the understanding between Nigerians and South Africans.

‘‘These activities include joint musical concerts, co-production in the area of films, visit of popular Nollywood actors and actresses to South Africa as part of a Nigerian delegation going on a confidence-building trip.

‘‘Exhibitions featuring Nigerian delicacies to be entitled “A Taste of Nigeria’’ and a town hall meeting for Nigerians resident in South Africa, with a view to encouraging dialogue on the way forward.’’

The minister said that the activities would kick-off in the weeks ahead and would not be a one-off event.

He said that while diplomats continued to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries, the ministry would deploy and ensure the sustenance of cultural diplomacy to bring the people together.

Mohammed noted that if the relations between Nigeria and South Africa became more cordial, it would have a positive effect on the whole of Africa.

‘‘Over 120 South African companies, perhaps more than those of any other African country are doing business in Nigeria. Thousands of Nigerians regularly travel to South Africa for business and leisure.

‘‘Historically, Nigeria played a frontline role in helping to end the scourge of apartheid in South Africa.

‘‘We must spare no effort in strengthening this brotherly spirit between our two countries and cultural diplomacy will be a major tool in this effort.’’

Mnguni said earlier, that both countries shared trenches together for many years during the regime of apartheid which South Africa was able to defeat with the support of Nigeria.

The envoy thanked the Federal Government for the relentless fight side by side with his country during the apartheid era.

He said there was urgent need to deploy programmes that would educate the people on the time-tested relations between both countries.

‘‘We believe that using culture, music, poetry and many other forms of cultural relations will help to strengthen our cohesion.’’

Mnguni noted that Nigeria had potential in the field of culture which could be used to strengthen relations between the two countries.

He thanked the minister for championing the cultural diplomacy initiative to address racial intolerance.

(Source: NAN)

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Foreign Shop Onwers In Coligny, South Africa Left In Despair After Looting

Police patrol the streets of Coligny which has been rocked by violence. Picture: ANA

     Police patrol the streets of Coligny which has been rocked by violence. Picture: ANA

One of 30 Bangladeshi nationals who own shops said collectively, Bangladeshi business owners lost stock valued at more than R700k.

At least 30 shops owned by foreign nationals have been looted in Coligny, in North West, since the outbreak of community protests, a local businessman said on Wednesday.

“I am left with nothing, they took everything in my shop, they even took the cups I used to drink water,” said Mahammed Rubel.

“It is heartbreaking to see your neighbour looting your shop. They took everything, including my clothes. People do not have mercy, you give them credit and help them, yet they loot your shop. People you know …”

Rubel is one of 30 Bangladeshi nationals who own shops in Tlhabologang. He said collectively, Bangladeshi business owners lost stock valued at more than R700 000.

“We do not know whether we will be able to recover from this great loss, we do not have means to start. We are depending on donations from food to clothes. We have nowhere to go. We are now staying at the mosque and hope our brothers in Johannesburg will help us.”

Rubel said they would monitor the situation in Coligny before deciding on their next move.

Shops were looted on April 24 when violence erupted in Coligny following the death of a 16-year-old boy, Matlhomola Jonas Mosweu.

Motlhomola died after two farmers, Pieter Doorewaard, 26, and Phillip Schutte 34, alleged they caught him stealing sunflowers at their employer’s field in Rietfontein, near the Scotland informal settlement. They ordered him to climb onto the back of a van, intending to hand him over to the police, but according to them, he jumped out of the moving van. He suffered neck injuries and later died on his way to hospital.

But an eyewitness told the police Matlhomola was thrown out of a moving van.

His death triggered a mass protest that left several houses and vehicles burnt, shops looted and damaged as the community demanded that his alleged killers be arrested.

The protest stopped after the two handed themselves over to police on April 25. But renewed violence erupted on May 8 when Doorewaard and Schutte were released on R5 000 bail each.

Furious residents torched three houses and police were forced to fire teargas and rubber bullets to disperse a crowd that wanted to torch a house in Rietvlei.

Schools have been disrupted since the outbreak of the violence, but on Wednesday, pupils at one of the high schools returned to class.

The situation was calm on Wednesday. A police helicopter monitored the situation.

African News Agency (ANA)

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Xenophobia: Five Nigerians Attacked In South Africa In Fresh Wave Of Attacks

south-africa-xenophobic-attacks1

The Nigerian Union in South Africa, on Tuesday, said five Nigerians had been attacked in Polokwane, Limpopo Province, in renewed xenophobic attacks.

The Secretary of the union in the province, Mr. Collin Mgbo, told the News Agency of Nigeria on the telephone from Polokwane that three of the five Nigerians attacked were in critical conditions in the hospital.

“I received a call that a Nigerian was attacked at Ivy Park in Polokwane on March 15. I got to the scene and saw that the Nigerian was almost dead, his house was looted and burnt,” he said.

Mgbo said another Nigerian was also attacked in the same neighbourhood on the same day and that when he got to the scene, the mob left the wounded man and descended on him.

“They left the wounded Nigerian and faced me. They destroyed my car and I managed to escape and run to a police station,” he said.

The secretary added that three other Nigerians, including the owner of a mechanic’s garage, were attacked at Moledji, near Polokwane.

“Their shops and houses were looted and destroyed. The local chapter of the union has reported these attacks to the South African police, the Nigerian mission and the national secretariat of our union.

“Our national secretariat is on top of the situation. As we speak, the three Nigerians in the hospital are in critical conditions and I do not know if they will survive because of the severity of the attack,” he said.

Mgbo urged the Federal Government to persuade its South African counterpart to ensure the safety of Nigerians in their country.

When contacted on phone, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olusola Enikanolaye, said the ministry had not been briefed about the incident.

He, however, promised to get back to NAN after an inquiry from the Nigerian High Commission in South Africa.

Similar, in February, properties worth millions of dollars belonging to Nigerians were destroyed.

The Federal Government later sent a delegation led by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffry Onyeama, and the Minister of Interior, Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd.), to South Africa for discussion on how to curtail the attacks.      (Punchng.com)

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Jacob Zuma Refuses To Accept Memo From Anti-xenophobia Protest Group

South Africans and immigrants march together to Union Buildings

Photo of anti-xenophobia protest
About 300 people marched to the Union Buildings on Thursday. Photo: Ihsaan Haffejee
By Ihsaan Haffejee

Leaders of the Coalition of Civics Against Xenophobia have accused the South African government of bias and hypocrisy after the office of the Presidency refused to accept their memorandum upon their arrival at the Union Buildings.

On Thursday, a group of about 300 demonstrators consisting of citizens of other African countries, immigrants and people born in South Africa made their way from Burgers Park to the Union Buildings where protest leaders wanted to hand over a memorandum of demands.

A large police contingent watched over the protesters from behind the fence that separates the park from the Union Building entrance. Police informed protest leaders that no one from the Office of the Presidency was willing to accept the memorandum.

“This is a national crisis where in the past people have lost their lives, where people’s livelihoods have been destroyed. And for the South African government to refuse to accept our memorandum indicates to us that they are not a caring government. It shows us as foreigners exactly what the South African government thinks of us and it shows their lack of commitment to tackle this sensitive issue,” said Essie-Prince Mpinda a leader representing the Congolese community.

Earlier in the day, Themba Ncalo, the chairperson of the Coalition of Civics Against Xenophobia, said that the coalition is made up of South Africans as well as people from a number of countries. “Our main aim today will be to march to the Union Buildings and deliver our memorandum. We are going to show that South Africa is not a country which promotes xenophobia,” said Ncalo.

The organisers of the march also accused authorities of a lack of co-operation with the march organisers, after the protest was denied permission by metro police.

“It’s strange that a few weeks ago permission was granted to a group promoting violence and xenophobia, and now that we wish to stage a peaceful demonstration we are denied,” said Ncalo.

Despite not getting the relevant permission the march went ahead and was escorted by a contingent of SAPS members on foot and in police vehicles.

Ahmed Abdi, from Somali, who was in Pretoria West when violence broke out in a Somali neighbourhood during the anti-immigrant protest a few weeks ago, joined today’s protest with the aim of countering the anti-immigrant sentiment in his neighbourhood. He said that some Somalis have returned to their spaza shops in the townships after vacating them following the violence, but they are living in a constant state of fear and uncertainty.

Ali Tarar, the vice-president of the Pakistan South Africa Association, wanted to remind people who were looting shops and attacking owners that they were destroying families. “We are saying that when a shop is looted it is not just the owner who is affected. That man is supporting an entire family and in some cases two families. With this looting they have lost everything, including the ability to provide for their families,” he said.

Wrapped in the bright blue flag of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mpinda appealed to the South African government to stop denying that xenophobia is a pressing issue which needs to be adequately handled. “You cannot paint an entire community with the same brush. If people are involved in crime, we urge the authorities to arrest these people,” said Prince Mpinda. “A lot of the Congolese in South Africa have fled the country because they are in opposition to the Kabila government and as such are fleeing violence and death. For them to seek safety here and still experience this xenophobia is truly regrettable. We are now a no-land people. We cannot return home and we are not wanted here.”

Metro police spokesperson Isaac Mahamba said a march to the Union Buildings needed security cluster approval and a letter from the presidency to say who will accept the memorandum. He said the protesters did not have this letter so permission was not granted.

The Presidency has not yet responded to a request for comment.

Source: GrounUp

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Xenophobia: South Africans Believe Nigerian Men Are Taking Their Women, Says Dabiri-Erewa

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Special Adviser to the President on Foreign Affairs, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa

The Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa on Saturday said South African politicians fuel xenophobic attacks by telling citizens that foreigners, including Nigerians, are dating their women and taking their jobs.

Speaking on a television programme, she admitted that there were foreigners who commit crime in South Africa, and they can be dealt with, but not by discriminating against Nigerians or any other race or country, an online news medium, The Cable reports.

Dabiri-Erewa who spoke on The Osasu Show, noted that xenophobic attacks in South Africa were driven by hate speech and misinformation.

She said, “There are people who commit crime in South Africa, such people are in any country. If South Africa is fighting crime; let it fight crime, not fight brothers and sisters, who are legitimately working in South Africa,

“Don’t forget that these attacks happened in the past. This is the seventh attack. The last one was in 2015… the king of Zulu made some remarks that were inciting, that led to the last attack.

“This particular one, let’s look at the circumstances. Fine, there are economic issues everywhere in the world. Politicians are campaigning and telling their people, ‘you know what, drive these criminals away, they are taking your jobs, and they are taking your women too’.”The SSA advised South Africa companies operating in Nigeria to do more to educate South Africans on the need to stop xenophobia.

She said, “Imagine MTN sending text messages to everyone in South Africa, saying Xenophobia is bad, don’t do this and that.

“They should embark on some corporate social responsibility. Those multinationals should get up and do something. DStv should be doing various jingles on why xenophobia is bad, they should take over the awareness campaign.”   (Punchng.com)

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Xenophobia: Reps Seek Compensation For Nigerians Affected In South Africa

John Ameh and Ife Ogunfuwa

The House of Representatives is seeking the enactment of stringent hate crime laws by South Africa to stop the ongoing xenophobic attacks on foreigners, particularly Nigerians living in South Africa.

This would be one of the key demands of its six-member team, which would visit South Africa to engage the South African parliament on the attacks.

It would also demand compensation for the victims of the attacks, who reportedly lost property valued at over N84m.

The delegation, which is led by the Majority Leader of the House, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, is scheduled to travel to South Africa on March 13.

Speaking in Abuja on Tuesday, Gbajabiamila said this was the first time the Nigerian legislature would strongly get involved in the attacks on Nigerians in South Africa – to send the message that the parliament truly felt the pains of its people.

He added that this was important also for the two parliaments to understand that xenophobia or racism would be a costly venture for Nigeria and South Africa, should the former decide to retaliate.

“We are looking at genuine engagement by these two parliaments of the leading countries in South Africa.

“We will talk with our colleagues over there and really pass the message to them,” Gbajabiamila stated.

The Majority Leader gave details of what to expect, “We are hopeful that our engagement with the South African parliament and authorities will provide lasting solutions.

“We will attempt to meet with the South African parliament to discuss the possibility of both our countries enacting hate crime laws. This would cover crimes committed based on nationality.

“We intend to engage the South African parliament and other authorities on areas of mutual benefits and how much both countries could lose from xenophobia and possible retaliatory actions or severing of diplomatic ties.

“This delegation will seek to strengthen the Nigerian /South African Bilateral Commission, which only exists on paper for now.

“We hope to meet with Nigerians who reside in South Africa and assure them of government’s intervention.

“We will advance and hopefully get a commitment on the need for the payment of compensation for the victims of this last attack.”

On the reported deaths of Nigerians in the renewed attacks, Gbajabiamila clarified that no Nigerians had died.

However, he admitted that there were injuries and attacks on business premises owned by Nigerians, resulting in the loss of valuables.

“We have not received a report on anybody who has been killed in these recent attacks.

“Attacks on businesses, yes, and that is why, as a legislature, we have said this form of behaviour cannot continue. We must not wait until lives are lost before we begin this intervention.

“People have talked about retaliation or even recalling our ambassador to South Africa.

“These are easier options, but in diplomatic engagements, retaliation is not the first option,” Gbajabiamila said.

Over 100 Nigerians have been reportedly killed in South Africa in the last two years.

Most of the deaths resulted from violence against Nigerians by fellow black South Africans in neighbourhoods and city centres.

There were instances where the police clobbered defenceless Nigerians to death on suspicion of being involved in criminality.

In the past few days, xenophobic attacks have also focused on business premises and properties owned by Nigerians living in South Africa.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian-South Africa Chamber of Commerce has condemned the attack on Nigerians in the recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa.       (Punchng.com)

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Protesters Shut Down MTN Lagos Office In Protest Over Xenophobic Attacks

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Protest at MTN office against xenophobic attacks against Nigerians in South Africa

Saheed Olugbon

Protesters under the aegis of the Human Rights Defenders and Advocacy Centre on Friday disrupted business activities at the MTN headquarters at Falomo, Lagos, over the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.

Business activities were stalled for over three hours at the telecommunications company’s premises, a situation which also affected other businesses in the building as the protesters did not allow vehicular movements into the premises.

The protesters expressed their grievances with placards displaying inscriptions such as “Stop xenophobia”, “Stop the killings and looting”, “Let peace reign in Africa”, “Let’s show love to one another” and “Nelson Mandela is our hero”.

President of Human Rights Defenders and Advocacy Centre, Queen Rose Ameh, described the attacks on Nigerians and other African citizens as a barbaric attitude towards fellow human beings, urging that an urgent attention is needed to halt the crisis.

“Killing of innocent Africans living in South Africa is a barbaric attitude towards our fellow human beings,” she said.

She stated that this was not the first time South Africans would attack other Africans.

“It happened about two or three years ago. We went to the South African embassy at the time and shut it down,” she said.

She described the South African Government as an ingrate because of the role Nigeria and other African countries played during the reign of apartheid in the country.

Ameh urged the Nigerian government to develop its country so that no citizen would have any cause to travel to other African countries to suffer.  (Punchng.com)

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