By Bimbo Ogunnaike
South African Government on Monday formally apologised to Nigerians and the Nigerian Government over recent xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals, including Nigerians in that country.
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Special Envoy to Nigeria, Jeff Radebe, conveyed the apology when he met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Monday.
Addressing State House correspondents after the closed door meeting with the Nigerian leader, Radebe said President Ramaphosa had already directed the law enforcement agencies to apprehend all those involved in the attacks.
Radebe, who is South Africa’s Minister of Energy, said over 50 suspects had so far been apprehended in connection with the xenophobic violence which erupted in some parts of South Africa.
“We met a short while ago with President Muhammadu Buhari to convey our 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,’’ he said.
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.