A Nigerian social and economic rights group, Citizens Advocacy for Social & Economic Rights (CASER), has called on the Nigerian government to carry out appropriate reprisal actions against South Africa since the Jacob Zuma led government of South Africa ‘has not done anything significant in protecting Nigerians and preserving their rights as migrant persons.’
- CASER ready to lead a protest to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the South African Mission in Abuja
- Attack against Nigerian business recorded in Johannesburg
- Buhari endorses Nigeria’s approach
- Zuma zooms off to Indonesia?
- More repercussions: South Africans chased out of Mozambique
- Two more deaths, this time in Jeppestown
- TB Joshua prophesied about the attacks; watch video
The Executive Director of CASER, Mr. Frank Tietie, made the call in a statement released in Abuja tagged, Xenophobic Attacks: South Africa is Evil, Nigeria’s is a Failure.
Mr. Tietie, a human rights lawyer and public affairs commentator, said the Nigerian government should immediately summon the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria for clarifications on the situation while South African business interests in Nigeria should be made aware that “they are likely to face systematic reprisals that would end their exploitative economic forays in Nigeria, which Nigerians in their African, brotherly nature, have tolerated and accommodated over the years.”
Part of the statement reads:
The rest of black Africa was bound together by the suffering of black South Africans under white supremacist rule between the 60s and late 80s.
Now the black South Africans are in charge, the rest of black Africa is hated and killed in South Africa for fulfilling the natural quest for a better life in a yonder place. This quest, being beyond natural, is legally protected under the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrant Workers and Members of their Families adopted by the United Nations in 1990.
Horrific images of black South Africans attacking migrant, black Africans, especially Nigerians, show unbelievable forms of barbarity from a people whose liberation from oppression Nigerians once supported with funds, human resources and sympathies. Nothing can be more evil and a demonstration of diabolic ingratitude.
Reprisals are conventional in international relations yet there hasn’t been a commensurate response from the Nigerian State in the wake of these attacks against Nigerians. The advice by the Nigerian authorities that Nigerians in South Africa should stay indoors and lock up their businesses is a weak and failed response which shows the abysmally low regard accorded to Nigerians in foreign lands by the obsolescent foreign policy of Nigeria, over the years. The United States of America would respond very much differently when American people and interests are targeted anywhere in the world.
Tietie however counseled against violent reprisals.
“By reprisal, we do not suggest in any form to deign to the level of South African barbarity but a demonstration of political might that is legally wielded to apply pressure and possibly punish,” he said.
Tietie said CASER would lead a protest to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the South African Mission in Abuja and would work with the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Nigeria to seek compensation from South Africa, for the victims of the xenophobic attacks under the relevant provisions of international law.
It has been reported that a Nigerian business was attacked on Friday – the first such incident officially recorded since the fresh spate of xenophobic violence erupted in Kwazulu Natal Province about two weeks ago.
President of Nigerian Union SA, Ikechukwu Anyene told the News Agency of Nigeria in Pretoria that the mechanic workshop of a Nigerian was completely destroyed early on Friday in Johannesburg.
“In the early hours of today (Friday), the mechanic workshop of a Nigerian, with 10 cars and all the tools inside, was destroyed by some South Africans. “The buildup to the attack started last night when the South Africans started gathering in the neighbourhood of the Nigerian. The Nigerians living there did not sleep and early today, the South Africans struck,” he said.
Anyene said the attackers defied the presence of the police.
“The attacks are spreading and Nigerians do not sleep again. They keep vigil to ensure that they are not taken unawares. There is tension everywhere. Nigerians have closed their shops for fear of being attacked.”
While confirming that no Nigerian had been killed, Anyene called on Nigerian and South African governments to reach an understanding to protect Nigerians in South Africa.
“South Africa has lots of businesses in Nigeria and they are doing well. Also, South Africans live in Nigeria and it is on record that Nigerians have never carried out xenophobic attack on fellow Africans. Though no Nigerian has been killed, it may get to that because we have had close shaves with death. The real truth is that Nigerians have lost so much in their businesses to the attacks. The time has come for the Nigerian government to make a categorical statement on these attacks. We are not happy with what is happening and something urgent must be done to stop these attacks,” he pleaded.
Buhari endorses Nigeria’s approach
Meanwhile, President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari has said that he is in full support of the steps taken so far by the Nigerian government to protect the country’s citizens from the wave of xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
In a statement released in Abuja on Saturday, Buhari said that Nigeria’s head of mission in Pretoria had taken the right steps by advising the Nigerian community in South Africa to close their shops, stay home, and keep out of trouble while ensuring that they obey the laws of their host country.
“We equally understand that the South African government is making efforts to bring an end to this unfortunate situation,” Buhari said.
The President-elect also commended the Nigerian government for its decision to monitor the situation in South Africa and evacuate its citizens at any sign of escalation.
“I am happy to see that the Nigerian government is very well aware of its responsibilities to its citizens in South Africa,” he added.
Zuma zooms off to Jakarta?
Contrary to some reports, President Jacob Zuma has cancelled his visit to Indonesia in order to attend to matters at home relating to the attacks on foreign nationals.
Times Live reports Presidency Spokesman, Mac Maharaj, as confirming that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa would represent Zuma on the scheduled trip.
“President Zuma was due to leave for Indonesia this evening 18 April 2015, for a State Visit and to attend the Africa-Asia Summit and the commemoration of the historic summit in Bandung, Indonesia in 1955 which brought together Africa and Asia to push forward the struggle for liberation and self-determination.The President is to lead a stakeholder outreach programme in the country next week. Ministers and Deputy Ministers will also engage South Africans and stakeholders next week in an Imbizo and stakeholder programme leading up to Freedom Day, 27 April,” Maharaj said.
Zuma has in the meantime visited some displaced foreigners in their makeshift shelters where he promised to help them with voluntary repatriation amid boos and shouts of “No, no!”
King Goodwill Zwelithini has called an imbizo for Monday in response to pressure that he add his voice to moves to bring an end to xenophobic violence in KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng.
(An imbizo is a meeting, especially a gathering of the Zulu people called by the king or a traditional leader. Formally, it is used to describe a forum for the discussion of policy.)
City Press reports that KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu announced on Friday that the monarch, whose comments that foreigners should pack up and go back home are seen as having sparked the violence, had informed government on Friday night of his intention to call the mass meeting.
King Zwelithini’s initial statement, made at a moral regeneration rally in Pongola, was followed by the first wave of attacks at Isipingo, south of Durban.
More repercussions: South Africans chased out of Mozambique
Xenophobic violence has broken out in Mozambique, forcing South Africans to leave the neighbouring country in a hurry, while trucks exporting goods have been grounded.
Truck driver John Mashiloane, who works for Ngululu Carriers told a News24 correspondent that he was forced to return to South Africa after the truck he was driving was stoned a short distance from the border town of Ressano Garcia.
“I’m back in South Africa; we have parked our trucks in Komatipoort. When we went into Mozambique in the morning, we saw that traffic was clear and thought it was fine, but just 4km into Mozambique near the Muamba Toll Gate, we found a mob of about 300 people in bakkies who started pelting our trucks with stones and telling us that we are killing their brothers and sisters so we deserve to die too,” said Mashiloane.
Ngululu’s operational manager, Jay Luvhani, said that their trucking business had come to a standstill.
Sasol to repatriate South African workers
Sasol is repatriating 340 South Africans working at its projects in Mozambique over fears for their safety after foreign nationals were attacked back home, the synthetics fuel maker has said.
Sasol said as a result of the repatriation, work at some of its projects had been halted temporarily. This follows reports that the Lebombo border post which separates Mozambique and South Africa had been closed after South African trucks were attacked.
Sasol spokesperson, Alex Anderson said previously that work had been stopped at their natural gas central processing facility in Temane‚ Inhambane.
Zim students call for retaliation
Zimbabwe National Students Union (Zinasu) president Gilbert Mutubuki has called on Zimbabwean youths to retaliate against xenophobic violence in South Africa by attacking South African businesses operating in Zimbabwe.
Zinasu is Zimbabwe’s largest students body which represents thousands of students at all universities and colleges across the country.
Addressing journalists in Harare after an anti-xenophobia demonstration organised by Zimbabwe civic society groups at the South African Embassy, Mutubuki said it was high time the country’s youths retaliated by attacking South African businesses operating in Zimbabwe such as Pick n Pay Edgars and Standard Bank among others.
“Right now we have South African businesses such as Pick n Pay operating freely here, but our brothers are being butchered in South Africa. Today in the morning, South African students at the University of Zimbabwe were having breakfast freely in the dining hall, but our sisters and brothers are getting killed. It’s high time we should do the same to all South African businesses here until they stop all this nonsense,” said an angry Mutubuki on Friday.
The demonstrators, who were later dispersed by heavily armed Zimbabwe police, also handed over a petition to South African Embassy officials.
In his address to mark the 35th anniversary of Zimbabwe’s independence and his leadership of the Southern African country, President Robert Mugabe said Zimbabwe received with shock and disgust reports of ‘the killing of Africans by the Zulu people of South Africa.’
Speaking under pouring rain, the struggle veteran called on the South African authorities to halt the violence.
Two more deaths
Two unidentified men were shot dead in xenophobia-hit Jeppestown in Johannesburg on Saturday.
The area has been a hotspot for xenophobic attacks and the looting of both local and foreign owned shops and, according to Eye Witness News, the death of the men brings to eight the total number of people who have died during these violent attacks.
However, the police’s Lungelo Dlamini has squashed speculation that these killings are related to xenophobic attacks in the area, saying the incident was as a result of a feud over money.
Meanwhile, KwaZulu-Natal police say they have now arrested 78 people in connection with the xenophobic violence in that province.
Prophet TB Joshua of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, based in Lagos Nigeria foresaw the xenophobic attacks in South Africa and told his congregation about it on July 28, 2013.
These were his words:
“Thank you Jesus. In the nation South Africa, we should help them in prayer because I’m seeing youth revolt…. And it will be very serious. A situation where youths will come out and begin….We learnt that there is a protest here, there is a protest there……some people were killed, certain people were killed….revolt”
Click the following link to watch the video:
NP/Times Live/Monitored reports
Do you agree with General Buhari that the Nigerian government is adopting the right approach to the crisis? Please, leave a comment.