The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday expressed concern about the xenophobic violence against Nigerians and other foreigners in South Africa.
A statement by the Ministry, made available to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), stated that the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria had been summoned by the ministry over the matter.
“The High Commissioner of South Africa to Nigeria is being summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs during which government’s concerns on this matter will be brought to his attention,” the statement said.
The Ministry urged the South African government to take the strongest measures to protect the lives and property of foreigners living in South Africa.
It also urged South Africa to bring to justice the perpetrators of the `heinous crimes’ against other nationals in the country.
It noted that the latest incident happened on Feb. 5, 2017 in the suburb of Rosettenville, Johannesburg and involved attacks against foreigners including Pakistanis, Nigerians, and other Africans.
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“Domestic grievances over ownership of homes and default in payment of mortgages were used as justification to attack foreigners not in any way involved in the repossession and subsequent resale of these properties.
“It would be recalled that in 2015, domestic grievances over unemployment and other challenges faced by South Africans were also used as justification to attack and kill,” the ministry stated.
The ministry deplored these acts of mindless violence and unwarranted attacks against other nationals in South Africa on the basis of their nationality or status.
“International law and the age-old written law of hospitality amongst nations and societies, recognise the sanctity of the lives and property of foreigners everywhere,” the statement said.
The Ministry also observed that incidents of xenophobic attacks had continued unabated in South Africa since 2015
It expressed concern that Nigerians were among the groups mainly targeted for attack and looting of their property.
The Ministry urged Nigerians in South Africa to remain calm and law abiding but vigilant, adding that it had intensified contacts with South African authorities at highest level to address the situation.
It stated that the Federal Government of Nigeria unequivocally insists and would strenuously work towards the protection of Nigerians anywhere, including in South Africa.