By Hamisu Kabir Matazu
The Deputy High Commissioner of South African mission in Nigeria, Dr. Bobby Moroe, has assured Nigerians and other nationals living in South Africa of safety.
Moroe, who paid a working visit to Daily Trust head office in Abuja, on Wednesday, said it has been consistent with the constitution of South Africa that, “South Africa belongs to all those who live in it, regardless of religion, creed, or gender”.
He said his country does not condone any act of criminality against foreign nationals or anybody within its border, adding that individuals found wanting are dealt with according to the law.
“We have made a commitment that all the security agencies in South Africa will protect the lives and properties of everyone within the border of the country regardless of their citizenship”
The envoy explained that the unfortunate violence witnessed in South Africa and the reprisals that followed in Nigeria in 2019, had destroyed businesses and triggered a loss of about 5,000 jobs.
He said it was at this instance that President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa hosted President Muhammadu Buhari, where a number of issues of common interest and mutual benefit were discussed.
“Paramount to those issues were people to people relations, which are considered very critical due to high level of movement between the two countries.”
“South Africans love coming to Nigeria and Nigerians love going to South Africa. They intermarry and the countries became their homes,” he said.
The envoy also said, those who attacked foreign nationals in South Africa were individuals that have criminal records, saying their action does not represent the views of the government and its good citizens.
“Some of the activities that took place are at variance with the law and do not reflect the view of the majority of South Africans”, he said.
Moroe noted that, following the incident in 2019, a South African/Nigeria youth dialogue was established to find the mechanism and sustainable way of mitigating potential reprisals in both countries.
He said the dialogue brought youths from both countries together and they discussed issues of common interest through social cohesion and understanding.