FG talks tough over attacks in South Africa

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Federal Government has frowned at the incessant harassment and killing of Nigerians in South Africa, and vowed to take decisive steps to curb it.

This came as three persons were reportedly killed and their properties destroyed in a fresh wave of attacks on foreigners, including Nigerians, in South Africa.

Following the unabated killing of Nigerians, Federal Government has declared that “enough is enough.”

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, while reacting to the development on his Twitter handle, described the wave of attacks on Nigerians as sickening.

Onyeama said South African government must take definitive measures to put an end to the ugly trend.

Widespread killing of Nigerians through xenophobic violence and other criminal activities has become a recurring decimal in that country.

The reaction of Federal Government calling for an end to attacks on Nigerians is coming as both countries planned to meet in October during President Muhammadu Buhari’s state visit to his South African counterpart, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa.

The visit is to further “consider recurrent issues concerning well-being of the Nigerian community in South Africa, and the need to promote trade and investment,” Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, said earlier in a statement.

“Received sickening and depressing news of continued burning and looting of Nigerian shops and premises in #SouthAfrica by mindless criminals with ineffective police protection. Enough is enough. We will take definitive measures,” Onyeama wrote on Twitter.

According to Mr Adetola Olubajo, president of Nigeria Union South Africa (NUSA), the latest attacks began on Sunday morning in Jeppestown, Johannesburg. He said a mob of South Africans set a building ablaze in the area.

“The mob also looted several shops that were around the vicinity suspected to be owned by foreign nationals. But the police later dispersed the mob and made some arrests,’’ he said in a statement.

“Late in the evening of Sunday, September 1, a group of violent locals suspected to be Zulu hostel dwellers besieged Jules Street in Malvern, Johannesburg, looted and burned shops/businesses.’’

A witnesses living on Jules Street, said the Zulu hostel dwellers were very organised and coordinated in looting and burning any shop/business suspected to be owned by foreign nationals.

Olubajo said information gathered by members of NUSA in the Malvern area indicated that over 50 shops/businesses were destroyed, looted and burnt overnight.

“Also, some businesses owned by foreign nationals were looted in Germiston on Sunday evening. A Nigerian-owned Internet café and computer accessories business was among the looted shops in Germiston,” he said.

“When I got the sad news late yesterday (Sunday) evening, I immediately informed the police in Jeppestown but lots of damage had been done already.

“Means of livelihood of people were looted and destroyed by fire overnight, which has left many Nigerians traumatised.

“Nigerian-owned businesses were seriously affected. A car sales business owned by a Nigerian was among the several businesses set ablaze over the night.”