President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to pay a stay visit to South Africa in October to refine the fraying ties between the two countries over deadly riots and xenophobic attacks, the South African presidency has said.
South Africa’s MTN Group and supermarket chain, Shoprite, have closed all stores and service centres in Nigeria after their premises were attacked.
Those attacks followed days of riots in South Africa that mainly targeted foreign-owned businesses, including the ones owned by Nigerians.
However, a statement by a spokesman to the South African President, Khusela Diko, Mr Buhari’s state visit would reinforce the bond between both countries.
Mr Diko stated that the visit would further strengthen their bond and jointly develop responses to challenges affecting people and businesses in South Africa and Nigeria.
According to him, President Cyril Ramaphosa held discussions, on September 6th with Nigeria’s Special Envoy, Ambassador Ahmed Abubakar, on violence in South Africa and developments in Nigeria around South African businesses.
“The visit to Pretoria by the Special Envoy followed a recent meeting between Presidents Ramaphosa and Buhari in Yokohama, Japan, on sidelines of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development.
“In their discussion, the special envoy conveyed President Buhari’s concern at recent events in South Africa, in context of the strong and cordial relations that characterise the interaction between the two countries.
“President Buhari conveyed his commitment to the values of prosperity and the advancement of Africa that are shared by South Africa and Nigeria.
“Nigeria stands ready to assist South Africa in establishing the root causes of and developing sustainable solutions to the challenges concerned.
“President Buhari has undertaken that where challenges emerge in Nigeria, the Nigerian government will act against lawlessness and the targeting of South African assets in Nigeria,” Mr Diko stated.
According to him, President Ramaphosa also reaffirms South Africa-Nigeria relations to be firm.
Mr Diko added that both partners remained resolute in a shared commitment to building Africa at peace with itself and others.
Meanwhile, the South African Acting High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ambassador Bobby Moroe, has said his country remained committed to strengthening bilateral ties with Nigeria.
In an interview with newsmen in Abuja on Sunday, he said the relationship between Nigeria and South Africa would remain strong and on course.