THE South African Government has formally sent an apology to Nigerians and the Nigerian Government over the recent xenophobic attacks by South African national on foreigners including Nigerians.
South Africa’s Special Envoy to Nigeria, Mr Jeff Radebe conveyed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s apology Monday when he met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Radebe told journalists after a closed door meeting with Buhari that President Ramaphosa had already directed law enforcement agencies in South Africa to apprehend all those involved in the attacks.
President Ramaphosa on Saturday, during the funeral of the former Zimbabwean leader, Robert Mugabe, apologized for the attacks on foreign nationals in his country.
The envoy, who is South Africa’s Minister of Energy, said over 50 suspects had so far been apprehended in connection with the xenophobic attacks, which erupted in some parts of South Africa.
He said: “We met a short while ago with President Muhammadu Buhari to convey President Ramaphosa’s sincerest apologies about the incidents that have recently transpired in South Africa.
“Those incidents do not represent what we stand for as constitutional democracy in South Africa and the President has apologized for these incidents and he has also instructed law enforcement agencies to leave no stone unturned so that all those involved must be brought to book so that the rule of laws must prevail in South Africa.”
President Ramaphosa, according to the envoy, said Nigeria and South Africa must continue to play a critical role in rebuilding of Africa to attain the Agenda 2063.
President Buhari had in the wake of the xenophobic attacks, sent Ambassador Ahmed Abubakar, the Director-General, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), as his Special Envoy to South Africa.
The President, who received the report of the NIA boss on September 9, ordered for the immediate evacuation of all Nigerians who are willing to return home from South Africa following the attacks.
Following the desire of Nigeria caught in the attacks, the Management of Air Peace in collaboration with the Federal Government had on September 11 evacuated 187 Nigerians from South Africa while another set of 320 Nigerians would be evacuated from that country on Tuesday. About 600 Nigerians had registered their desire to return to Nigeria.