President Muhammadu Buhari has dispatched a Special Envoy to convey to President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa his deep concerns over reported attacks on Nigerian citizens and property in South Africa since Aug. 29.
Femi Adesina, the President’s spokesman, who confirmed this development in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday, said the Envoy would also interact with his South African counterpart on the situation.
Mr Adesina revealed that the President had already instructed the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, to summon the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria and get a brief on the situation.
He said Mr Onyeama was also to express Nigeria’s displeasure over the treatment of her citizens; and assurance of the safety of their lives and property.
“The Special Envoy is expected to arrive in Pretoria latest Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019,’’ he added.
Recall that South Africans commenced fresh attacks, looting and burning of businesses and properties belonging to Nigerians and other nationals and in the process killed three people.
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The President of the Nigeria Union South Africa, Adetola Olubajo, said on Monday that the attacks began on Sunday morning in Jeppestown area of Johannesburg when a building was set ablaze by an angry mob.
“The mob also looted several shops that were around the vicinity suspected to be owned by foreign nationals.
“But the Police later dispersed the mob and made some arrest.
“Late in the evening of Sunday, Sept. 1, a group of violent locals suspected to be Zulu hostel dwellers besieged Jules Street in Malvern, Johannesburg looted and burned shops and businesses with Nigerians being the most victims.
According to witnesses living on Jules Street, the Zulu hostel dwellers were very organised and well-coordinated in looting and burning of any shops/businesses suspected to be owned by foreign nationals.
NAN further reports that over 50 shops/businesses were destroyed, looted and burnt over the night in Malvern area of Johanesburg.