Tshwane – South Africa and Nigeria have resolved to establish an early warning system in response to xenophobic attacks and to strengthen relations between the two nations.
International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and her Nigerian counterpart Geoffrey Onyeama held a bilateral meeting on Monday. This follows a wave of xenophobic violence in SA in February.
The meeting was attended by several officials from both countries, including Nigeria’s interior minister and South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba.
Ten houses were torched in Rosettenville by angry residents who claimed the homes were being used by Nigerians for drug dealing and prostitution. Several Pretoria homes were raided by community members for similar reasons.
“For some time now, there have been these incidents of attacks and Nigerians have been victims,” said Onyeama.
He added that his government knew that violence aimed at Nigerian nationals in SA was not state sponsored.
‘Dynamic’ South Africa
“We know that the South African government has always condemned this, that the South African people have condemned this. It was the action of a small criminal minority,” he continued.
“We also recognise that not all the Nigerians in SA engage in lawful activity, but the vast majority are,” said Onyeama.