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Nigerian ambassador: Nigerians involved in crime in SA must face the law

Commissioner Kabiru Kabiru said the high commission was aware of allegations levelled against Nigerians amid the ongoing xenophobic attacks in the country.

FILE: Suspects are loaded into a police van after being arrested for looting in Troyville, Johannesburg on 2 September 2019. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Nigerian High Commissioner to South Africa Kabiru Bala on Monday said Nigerians involved in crime in South Africa should face the wrath of the law, but this shouldn’t take away from what free movement and integration could do for the continent.

Kabiru said the high commission was aware of allegations levelled against Nigerians amid the ongoing xenophobic attacks in the country.

Some disgruntled South Africans accused Nigerian nationals of drug dealing, but Bala insisted there were those who positively contributed to South Africa and those who committed crime were a minority.

“But there are a few of our nationals who are not giving us a good image and if they are found to commit the crime, the law should take its course,” Bala said.

Bala was among diplomats that met the Department of International Relations and Cooperation on Monday on a quest to find lasting solutions to the ongoing attacks on foreign nationals.

He said Nigerians who were committing crime were not doing it alone.

“We need to [open] our eyes and see those who are partners in criminal activities. I don’t believe that Nigerians are doing this without local collaboration. It’s not palatable to say but it is a fact.”

The ambassador said he believed the meeting that was attended by all diplomats would find a way to support South Africa to find solutions.