Nigerian House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila has rejected the claims by South African Foreign Affairs minister Naledi Pandor that many Nigerians in South Africa indulge in criminal acts.
Recall that Mrs Pandor, in an interview with eNCA on Thursday, said: “The belief that our people have in reality is that there are many persons from Nigeria who are dealing drugs in our country, which are harming our young people is true.”
“I believe that Nigeria nationals are involved in human trafficking and other abuse of our practices.”
In a reaction to these claims, the Speaker said South Africa was trying to “change the true narrative” of the xenophobic attacks in South Africa as a conflict between “gangs fighting for turf.”
“Unless it is the position of the South African Government that all Nigerians living in South Africa are gangsters and criminals, we demand that they reject these claims without equivocation,” Mr Gbajabiamila said.
Mrs Pandor had earlier described the anti-migrants sentiments as Afrophobia – fear or dislike of Africans, but the South Africa’s police minister Bheki Cele said that attacks were acts of “criminality” and not xenophobic.