South African government has said that there is need to collaborate with major stakeholders in Nigeria to find lasting solution to the xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
This is coming as Nigerian protesters on Thursday attacked and vandalised the head office of Africa’s biggest mobile firm in Abuja in apparent retaliation for anti-Nigerian violence in South Africa.
The retaliation also coincided with the visit of South Africa’s mobile operator MTN Group, who paid Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo a visit in Abuja.
The South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Lulu Mnguni, on Thursday stressed the need for the South African Government to collaborate with major stakeholders in Nigeria to find lasting solution to the xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
The Commissioner stated this while receiving the Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Senator Shehu Sani, in Abuja.
While condemning the recent attacks on foreigners, particularly Nigerians, Mnguni said there was need for the two countries to work together to bring an end to the problem. He said that it was important for Nigeria and South Africa to bring strategists together to discuss the issues at stake in order to find lasting solution to the problem.
“We will look for ways to contain the tension and come up with ways to encourage interaction between the two countries and other African countries.
“South Africa cannot see itself as an island. Instead, it will continue to work towards peace building and integration,’’ he said.
The High Commissioner further said the South African Government had always advocated for respect for human rights, stressing that there was no justification for the attacks. However, he called on foreigners to always abide by the laws of the countries where they live.
He pointed out that there were concerns among South Africans that a few foreigners, including Nigerians were involved in drug peddling.
Earlier, Sani expressed concern over the recurrent nature of xenophobic attacks on foreigners, including Nigerians, saying that if allowed to continue, it would portray the continent in bad light, adding that it was time for major stakeholders to find a lasting solution to the problem. “Nigeria’s relationship with South Africa dates back to the time of Apartheid.
Meanwhile, South Africa’s Arts and Culture Minister, Nathi Mthethwa also condemned strongly any attempts to mobilise communities against African brothers and sisters.
“This is totally unacceptable’’.
He said: “African neighbours are our brothers & sisters. We are all Nigerians, we are all Zimbabweans, and we’re all South Africans”.