Xenophobia: Why Nigerians may attack South African companies in Nigeria - Fani-Kayode

Violet Powell
February 25, 2017

Responding to attacks on the shops, Nigeria's foreign ministry said it would summon South Africa's envoy to raise its concerns over "xenophobic attacks" on Nigerians, other Africans and Pakistanis.

Gigaba said countries should desist from pointing fingers at one another on issues they may not have a certain level of information about and it was his understanding that there was nobody in SA who had attacked someone on the basis of them being from another country.

Responding, the spokesperson of Nigeria's Foreign Affairs ministry, Clement Aduku urged the protesting students to be calm as the federal government is now engaging in talks with its South African counterpart over the xenophobic attacks.

The main group behind the protests, Mamelodi Concerned Residents, has blamed foreign nationals for taking jobs and accused them of being involved in prostitution rings and drug cartels, accusations denied by immigrant communities.

The unrest in the Nigerian capital followed a spate of attacks on Nigerian-owned businesses in Pretoria, South Africa's capital, and the business centre of Johannesburg this week, in that country's worst flare-up of anti-foreigner rioting in years.

The Minister, addressing a news conference, after delivering a statement on the floor of the House, said a hotline had been set, through social media and telephone for prompt response to any emergency.

If unchecked, these xenophobic attacks could soon engulf Pretoria and spread to other parts of South Africa, as they have in the past.

Official government figures said the number of immigrants in South Africa has declined in recent years.

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South African authorities dismiss such numbers, saying many violent deaths in the country are due to criminal activity rather than anti-immigrant sentiment.

"The callers asked for money to be spared the attacks".

"I have never bought anything in South Africa apart from water, and food and I have said it in the pan-African parliament", he said, rallying his colleagues to do same.

"I think the time has come for African people to unite around this and at least not to also violently attack their properties in our country and not to violently attack their citizens in our country but to boycott their products".

"We are sick and exhausted of foreigners who are coming to sell drugs and kill our people; we can't let the community go down like this", an angry South African man, who didn't want to be named, said.

The president reaffirmed his assertion that South Africans are not xenophobic and that the problems they are raising with respect to crime will be attended to. In Congo we are not treating South Africans the way South Africans are treating us.

The Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Hon.

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