Vaccination row: SA delegation in Nigeria

2012-03-16 18:01

Abuja - Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and a South African delegation vowed on Thursday to work to improve relations after a diplomatic row sparked by yellow fever vaccinations.

Jonathan held talks with an eight-member South African delegation led by Correctional Services Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, sent as President Jacob Zuma's special envoy following the row, a statement from Jonathan's office said.

Pretoria has apologised to Nigeria after 125 Nigerians were barred from entering South Africa two weeks ago for allegedly not having valid yellow fever vaccination documents, sparking a diplomatic row and accusations of anti-foreigner bias.

Nigeria also later barred entry to more than 100 South Africans in apparent retaliation.

Co-operation

Jonathan "spoke about the need for South Africa and Nigeria to co-operate to provide leadership for Africa," the statement said, while also calling for the revival of a bi-national commission between the two continental giants to improve relations.

The commission is expected to meet in a month in South Africa.

Mapisa-Nqakula said the deportations were not approved by Zuma nor his government, adding that the matter was being investigated.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, the envoy said she had "a very good discussion with both the president and the minister of foreign affairs."

She said "there was no deliberate attack on the integrity on the people of Nigeria... We are currently conducting an investigation and we have announced in South Africa that there will be consequences for whoever took that decision."

Read more on:    goodluck jonathan  |  jacob zuma  |  nosiviwe mapisa nqakula  |  nigeria
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