Gigaba hails SA, Nigeria meeting over attacks on foreign nationals

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba says a high-level meeting between the countries was necessary.

FILE: Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba says a meeting between representatives from both South Africa and Nigeria following recent attacks on foreign nationals is a display of political maturity from the governments.

Areas including the capital and Rossetenville in southern Johannesburg have been rocked by anti-immigrant attacks with locals accusing foreigners of crime and demanding they leave the country.

On Monday, International Relations Minister Maite Nkoane-Mashabane met with her Nigerian counterpart Geoffrey Onyeama in Pretoria to discuss bilateral relations.

Nkoane-Mashabane and Onyeama agree that relations between the countries cannot be dented by a small group of people who harbour feelings of what appears to be Afro-phobia.

Gigaba says a high-level meeting between the countries was necessary.

“Communicates a message that there’s a sinister but concerted effort to heighten the tensions between the nationals of our countries and between our two governments. For us to meet at this level is a demonstration of political maturity on our part.”

Minister Onyeama says Nigerian president Muhammardu Buhari will pay a state visit to South Africa soon after spending several weeks in the UK receiving treatment.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)