Xenophobia: Nigerian lawmakers to visit SA 'to ascertain true state of affairs'

2017-03-01 16:22
Foreign nationals standing in a line facing the SA group and shouting inaudible slurs. (File: Mpho Raborife, News24)

Foreign nationals standing in a line facing the SA group and shouting inaudible slurs. (File: Mpho Raborife, News24)

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Lagos – At least six Nigerian lawmakers are reportedly set to visit South Africa following the recent xenophobic attacks in Pretoria and Johannesburg. 

According to Punch.com, the Nigerian delegate would be led by Femi Gbajabiamila, the Majority Leader of the west African country's House of Representatives.

The lawmakers, the report said, would also be accompanied by foreign affairs officials. 

The visit's aim was to ascertain the "true state" of affairs regarding both Nigerian and other foreign nationals living in South Africa.

Outbreaks of xenophobic violence were recently reported in Johannesburg and Pretoria

Reports indicated that more than 20 shops were targeted in Atteridgeville, outside Pretoria, and at least 12 houses were attacked in Rosettenville, south of Johannesburg. 

Angry residents raided what they called drug dens, telling the tenants they did not want them living there. 

They also called for "pimps" to release prostitutes and send them back home.

Punch said: "Over 100 Nigerians have...been killed in South Africa in the last two years. There were instances where the police clobbered defenceless Nigerians to death on suspicion of being involved in criminality."

The lawmakers reportedly accused the Nigerian government of not "doing enough" to protect Nigerians in the southern African country.

The chairperson of the committee on foreign affairs, Senator Monsurat Sunmonu, said it was time for Nigeria to impose sanctions on South Africa, adding that Nigeria should also consider retaliatory moves against the southern African country.

Sunmonu's remarks came just a week after Nigerians staged an anti-xenophobia protest outside the South African embassy in Abuja, calling on authorities to "stop attacks on African nationals".

The protest, organised by members of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, urged the South African government to urgently address the situation.

The protesters carried placards such as "South Africa we say stop killing our people" and chanted slogans denouncing the attacks.

Read more on:    south africa  |  nigeria  |  west africa  |  southern africa

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