South Africa says NANS protest against Xenophobia reckless, unwarranted

By Shola Abayomi.

The South African High Commission in Abuja, has frowned at recent protests by the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), describing the association’s call for the expulsion of South Africans living in Nigeria as reckless and unwarranted.

Ms Anna-Maria Jojozi, Counsellor in-charge of Political Affairs at the South African High Commission, also described as untrue the allegation by NANS that Nigerians were being targeted and killed in xenophobic attacks by South Africans.

She said: “I wish to express my department’s concern regarding statements said to emanate from student organisation in Nigeria, calling for expulsion of South Africans and protests at South African owned businesses.

“The protests are said to be in response to alleged killings of Nigerians by South Africans; as you are aware these allegations are devoid of truth, reckless and unwarranted.

“We find these statements most unfortunate as they do not reflect the strong relations that exist between the people and the Government of South Africa and Nigeria.

“The two countries enjoy strong bilateral relations, which were forged over many years during our struggle for liberation in South Africa; also, in this democratic era supported by the people and Government of Nigeria.”

Ms Jojozi stated that there was no targeting of any group of Africans in South Africa, adding that the law enforcement agencies were making effort to fight crime and arrest all criminals.

She called on the High Commission to invite Nigeria’s Senate President to South Africa, to see for himself that many Nigerians live in peace and harmony among South Africans.

“I will also ask my colleague, the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces of our Parliament to invite his counterpart, the Senate President of Nigeria and delegation to visit South Africa.

“To see that many Nigerians live in peace and harmony among South Africans, we would also ensure that delegation of members of the executive visit Nigeria to further strengthen our relations.

“I hope their visit will help them to develop a different view from that which they have about South Africa,” she said.

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