SOUTH AFRICA has apologised to Nigeria over xenophobic attacks that left 12 people dead earlier this month.
Mobs in Johannesburg and Pretoria targeted businesses owned by foreigner nationals during the deadly spate of violence.
No Nigerians were among those killed during the violent attacks but it is understood that Nigerian-owned shops and businesses were among those targeted.
Jeff Radebe, a special envoy and head of policy, monitoring and evaluation in the ANC, apologised to Muhammadu Buhari, president of Nigeria, during a meeting in Abuja on Monday (Sep 16).
“The incident does not represent what we stand for,” the BBC reported Radebe said.
He added that the South African police would “leave no stone unturned” when it comes to bringing those involved to justice.
Buhari thanked Rabede for coming to Nigeria to explain the recent incidents.
Last week he reassured those concerned that his government would continue to apply pressure on South African officials to take measures to stop the violence.
“The recurring issue of xenophobia and attacks on African nationals remains very worrying. If nothing is done to stop it, it could negatively affect the image and standing of South Africa as one of the leading countries in Africa. It has to be stopped.
“On our own part let me reiterate that the Nigerian Government will continue to do everything possible to ensure the safety of the lives, property and business interests of Nigerians in South Africa, and of South Africans in Nigeria.”
As a result of the attacks, the Nigerian government made arrangements for the immediate evacuation of all Nigerians in South Africa who wanted to go back to Nigeria. Almost 200 Nigerians have returned home following the violence, the BBC reported last week.
The president of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, said there was “no justification for any South African to attack people from other countries”.
Around 200 people were arrested in connection to the attacks.