“We are aware that youth groups in countries whose citizens are being maltreated by these little minds are threatening to carry out reprisal attacks on South Africans living in their own countries.”
The Nigerian media has characterised the recent violent protest that targeted Nigerians in Krugersdorp and Rustenburg, west of Johannesburg, as “continuation of war against Nigerians in South Africa”.
Under the guise of fighting against drugs and prostitution, protesters from West Rand communities like Kagiso and Munsieville and Rustenburg took to the streets and property said to be belonging to Nigerians was looted and vandalised.
Such acts are always followed by strong condemnation by the Nigerian public which filters through into the Nigerian media further straining relations between the two countries. It makes life difficult for South African businesses like MTN operating in Nigeria.
A title called Leadership hit out in an editorial headlined Xenophobic Madness In Former Apartheid Enclave. It called for African Union intervention saying the South African government is unwilling to get to the bottom of the dire situation.
War is not over
This Day’s editorial screamed: “Those who think the senseless xenophobic attacks led by some South Africans against Nigerians living in South Africa is over should wake up from their slumber.
“It’s hightime the South African haters of humanity with their collaborators in the South African police, are made to see the tough position of the law on their wicked acts.
“There is certainly no justification for the acts of the mob that destroyed shops and properties belonging to Nigerians living at Krugersdorp, near Johannesburg.
“The mob alleged that a member of the Nigerian community in the area had abducted and raped a South African lady. Hence they unleashed violence on all Nigerians in sight and damaged properties worth quite a fortune.
“Many Nigerians have had terrible experiences, some having led to death, in the hands of South Africans who have no love for foreigners despite being fellow Africans. About a week ago, two South African police officers were remanded in prison over the alleged killing of a Nigerian named Ebuka Okori.
“This is an unfortunate proof that the war is not yet over. The Nigerian government should therefore take a strong position with its South African counterpart to halt these heinous attacks and killings of Nigerians.”
No nation is an island
Amore titled its report as follows: Again, Nigerians under attack in South Africa. The Daily Post’s headline read: South Africans launch fresh attacks on Nigerians, kill two.
Leadership’s editorial declared that “Black South Africans must be made to understand that no nation is an island… No matter how rich their maniacal propensities drive them to believe they are, the principle of inter- personal and even international relations ought to teach them that they are likely to have something to benefit from that poorer next door neighbour.
“We are aware that youth groups in countries whose citizens are being maltreated by these little minds are threatening to carry out reprisal attacks on South Africans living in their own countries. The matter must not be allowed to degenerate to that level. That is why we are calling on AU and Nigeria, in particular, to take the lead in taming the dragon of xenophobia on the loose in South Africa.”
It added that “The government of South Africa, instead of addressing the issue that has everything to do with jealousy, rationalises the rascality and insists that criminality is behind the attacks and not xenophobia. Even if this assertion is true, that country has laws and courts where those perceived criminal acts can be controlled based on internationally recognised best practices.”
Leadership revisited the role played by Nigeria in the fight against apartheid and added that “The irony of what is going on now, in our view, is that South Africans are all over Africa living their lives and carrying on their businesses in peace without molestation.
“In Nigeria, for example, South African companies are everywhere and supporting their international operations with proceeds from their investments in the country. Before MTN, the Global System for Mobile Telecommunication (GSM) network, for instance, came to Nigeria, it was just another struggling business enterprise in South Africa. It acquired the status of an international conglomerate when it came to Nigeria and its fortunes became so robust because Nigerians accepted it without minding who owns it.”