Posted by Olaniyi Abodedele on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 Under: News Stories

The reaction of the South African government through the South Africa Police Service (SAPS) has proven beyond reasonable doubt that xenophobic attack on foreigners is unlawful and intolerable in South Africa. Rather it is often the cruel activities of some ignorant and unscrupulous individuals who engage in such inhuman acts for selfish reasons. This was demonstrated in the case of recent xenophobic attack on some Nigerians living Port-Nolloth community of the Northern Cape, who were forcefully chased out of their homes by some South Africans in the community on the allegation of drugs dealing.

Brig. Gen. Francis Hender of the South Africa Police Service (SAPS) promised that no individual or group would be allowed to perform the duty of the police. “I will go to Port-Nolloth personally to assess the situation there, and a team of crime investigators will be assigned to instigate the cause of the attack on Nigerians and the lady mentioned would be invited for questioning, ``She is not a police officer and cannot be allowed to get away with her actions,’’ Hender said. 

On the political front, the ANC has added its voice to condemn the unlawful act. Mr. Lebogang Abrans, ANC Regional Secretary, has apologized to the Nigerian Consul-General, Mr. Emuchay,  on the attack and said there was need to engage with the community on how to allow the displaced Nigerians return to their homes. “Since the incident occurred, we have been meeting with all stakeholders to find ways of resolving the problem and how the displaced Nigerians can go back to their homes and businesses”.

Outside of South Africa, Mr. Lance Abem, a South African living and working in Nigeria has spoken out against inhuman treatment of foreigners, especially Nigerians. He called for enlightenment campaigns that will “teach our people how to co-exist. They should start travelling so that they will see how to treat people”. Mr. Abem encouraged South Africans to visit Nigeria and experience the Nigeria’s hospitality to foreigners. “You need to travel to this Nigeria that we tend to hate and see how hospitable and accepting they are. A foreigner in Nigeria gets more protection from the police than the citizens. I experienced this myself. That is why my heart bleeds when I see them go through what they do in SA. I am not saying that anyone who commits crime should not be punished, but it should be done within the confines of the law and as if the person is an animal with no human right”.

The Consul-General, Mr. Emuchay said that “In as much as we will not encourage our nationals to engage in criminal activities, it is not acceptable to us that some people should label all Nigerians as drug dealers”. He stated that “if any Nigerian is caught dealing in drugs he/she should be arrested and prosecuted”. He challenged individuals with information about any Nigerian dealing in drugs to inform the police for proper investigation and prosecution rather than taking the laws into their hands by attacking foreigners based on rumors.  Former ANC Youth League President, Julius Malema speaking to the press on his recent visit to Nigeria said that “Nigerians are in South Africa are enjoying themselves. They are very influential. They relate confidently in the society”. He advised the countries not to only build economic partnerships, but friendship.

In : News Stories 

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