Nigerians not being targeted in SA – Ramaphosa
Publish date: 13 July 2018
Issue Number: 4501
Diary: Legalbrief Today
President Cyril Ramaphosa has dismissed suggestions that Nigerians living in South Africa are specifically being targeted for attacks. While in Abuja, he has had to answer questions on how his government would curb ‘persistent attacks against Nigerians’, notes a News24 report. The questions have come from journalists and investors. ‘There have been a number of incidents in our country where foreign nationals, some of whom are Nigerians, have lost their lives and I would like to say here and now that has been as a result of criminal activity among our own people, which we are focusing on,’ he said. Ramaphosa was in Nigeria to meet his counterpart, President Muhammadu Buhari, as part of a charm offensive to improve often tense relations between Africa's power houses. Despite high trade volumes between the two countries there is a negative sentiment against SA in Nigeria, with local news dominated by attacks against Nigerians living in SA. An official in the Nigerian Presidency was quoted as saying that 117 Nigerians were killed extra-judicially between 2013 and 2018 in SA, a figure dismissed by the South African government. ‘I want to dispel this notion that when a Nigerian loses his or her life in SA, it is as a result of an intentional action by South Africans against Nigerians,’ Ramaphosa said, blaming ‘pervasive crime’ in SA on high unemployment rates, poverty and inequality. Ramaphosa and Buhari also discussed the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement that Nigeria is yet to sign. Earlier he nudged Buhari to sign the agreement, which will allow free movement of goods, dropping tariffs.