Xenophobia: Enough of rhetoric, group tells SA government

Xenophobia: Enough of rhetoric, group tells SA government

A civil rights group says it would embark on series of coordinated actions that would send a strong message to South Africans to refrain from further xenophobic attacks on Nigerians.

Mr Frank Tietie, the Executive Director, Citizens Advocacy for Social and Economic Rights (CASER), stated the group’s position in a statement in Abuja on Friday.

The group urged South African government to match words with action by taking urgent steps to permanently arrest the recurring hate attacks on Nigerians

“CASER shall embark on a series of coordinated civil actions that would send a strong message to the people of South Africa to refrain from carrying out xenophobic attacks against Nigerians.

“This is irrespective of what the two governments do or fail to do,’’ the CASER executive director said. 
Tietie also urged the South African and Nigerian governments to move beyond rhetoric and ensure that victims of the renewed xenophobic attacks in South Africa were compensated.

CASER’s reaction came a day after Nigeria`s Consul General in South Africa, Amb. Uche Ajulu-Okeke, said that Nigerians suffered heavy material losses in the latest attacks.

Ajulu-Okeke spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) after visiting the Nigerian victims in the attacks.  

“The Consulate General of Nigeria in South Africa went on a fact-finding and direct field assessment of the xenophobic attack sites. We visited seven locations in Pretoria West.

“At the first location, a garage, 29 cars, 80 Nigerian passports, welding and painting appliances and  a restaurant were burnt while cash totalling R140,000 (N3.36 million) were removed,” she said.

CASER, however, said that the responses of both governments to the attacks had always ended in verbal condemnations and promises of compensation.  

“After the April 2015 xenophobic attacks, the South African government promised that it would arrest and prosecute the perpetrators but we never saw that.

“It also promised to compensate the victims but it never did,’’ the group said.

South Africa President Jacob Zuma has condemned the “acts of violence between citizens and non-nationals’’.

“Many citizens of other countries living in South Africa are law abiding and contribute to the economy of the country positively.

“It is wrong to brandish all non-nationals as drug dealers or human traffickers. The threats and counter-threats on social media must stop,” Zuma said in a statement on Friday.

On Thursday, the Federal Government called on the South African government to put in place measures to end the incessant xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in that country.

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Khadija Abba-Ibrahim, made the call in Abuja during a second meeting with the South Africa High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Lulu Aaron-Mnguni, on the issue. (NAN)

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