Security

UPDATED: Criminals killing Nigerians in South Africa – Ramaphosa

by Tony Ailemen

July 12, 2018 | 11:29 am
  |     |     |   Start Conversation
Against the background of reports by the Federal Government that over 100 Nigerians were killed in South Africa in the last two years, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has blamed the killings on “criminal elements”
This is just as he assured that the South African government was doing everything necessary to halt the killing of Nigerians
Ramaphosa stated this at Presidential Villa, Abuja while addressing State House Correspondents after holding talks with Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari.
“It is an act of criminality and our government is  determined to bring the levels of criminality down and also to go after those who perpetrate these acts of criminality. So that anyone who attacks anyone in South Africa will be pursued with the might of the law to make sure they are brought to justice.
Ramaphosa who stated that “South Africans do not have negative opinions about Nigerians”, used the opportunity to dispel the notion that the deaths are as a result of Xenophobic attacks and deliberate intentions to chase Nigerians out of South Africa adding that “That is not true”
He attributed the killings to activities crimes and criminal elements arising from unemployment.
According to him” 27%  or about 9 million  of South African population are unemployed”adding that “ Few people are very rich while others are very poor”
According to him, “There has been quite a number of incidence in our country where foreign nationals some of whom are Nigerians have lost their lives and are being attacked. I will like to say here and how that, that has been as a result of criminal activity among our own people which we are focusing on from a criminal element point of view.
“I want to state here and now that South Africans do not have any form of negative disposition or hatred towards Nigerians and in the main Nigerians in South Africa and a number of places of our country live side by side, they corporate very well and some our in the corporate structures of our various companies and some are traders and some are into a number of things.
He dispelled the notion that when a Nigerian looses his or her life in South Africa, “it is as a result of an intentional action by South Africans against Nigerians. That is simply not true.”
He noted that South Africa has a number of challenges, one of which he said “is criminality and which is all pervasive”
“We have over a number of years been bringing down a number of crime in our country and we are working on a concerted basis to ensure that crime does come down. And the criminality that we have is borne out of a number of factors, one of those is unemployment among people.
“27 percent of South Africans are unemployed which amount to about 9 million  and most of these are young people. Poverty is still all pervasive in South Africa and this emanate front our very sad history  of apartheid misrule”
He also declared that inequality is yet to be fully eliminated in South Africa, as  a few people are extremely rich and majority of our people are very poor and all these factors and other social factors have contributed to the high levels of crime.
“criminality is something like I said that we are focusing on, doing everything to bring it down.”
“And on top of everything else, people in various parts of the country who get engulfed in acts of criminality, majority of them are South Africans and some of them will be foreign nationals and will either be Nigerians and other people from other countries.
“These are acts of criminality and I want to end by saying that, when we were involved in our struggle, we said that the South Africa that we are fighting for is the South Africa which will regard everyone who lives in South Africa on the basis of equality, respect for human right.
“And we said that South Africa belongs to all the people who live in it. So, the Nigerians who are in in South Africa are also part of our community. They can never be targeted on an intentional basis as people who must either be attacked or killed and when that happens l will like all of us to see that as an act of criminality which in the main affect many South Africans in the various parts of our country. In that regard and we will like that you should never think that it is being done against Nigerians intentionally”
He disclosed that the two leaders have agreed to strengthen the Nigeria South Africa Bi National Commission, saying that South Africa will host the next meeting
“ I am using this opportunity to invite President Buhari to. State visit in South Africa during the meeting later this year” he said
Since I took over office this is the first visit that I am undertaking beyond the borders of Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries in our region, in the southern part of our continent. It is an important visit for us.
In the form of country to country, we decided that the very first visit that I should pay as head of state of South Africa, should be to Nigeria. And that this should send a clear signal that our government intends to pursue Africa focused foreign policy. But in pursuing that African focused foreign policy, we would like to deepen our relationship with Nigeria, seeing that Nigeria is the most populous country on the whole continent whose economy is the largest on our continent.
“Nigeria which is six hours away from South Africa was proudly regarded as a front line state because it was really at the frontline of our titanic struggle against apartheid. Nigeria and indeed Nigerians never flinched for a minute in support of our struggle. In fact Nigerians even took it a little further, President Buhari related that Nigerians through their households contributed money into the Organization of African Union Fund to support the struggle against apartheid.
It is important that South Africa and Nigeria should develop and deepen the relationships between the two countries. Deepen them at a people to people level but also at an economy level and of course underpin by good political relations between the two countries.
At an economy level, our various companies from South Africa are already business here and in a number of ways are diplomats of our country.
“We will expect our officials to do the technical part of a number of things and our ministers to work on the various areas where we need to deepen our cooperation through agreements. And that when President Buhari and I meet, we will then be able to either sign off or to ensure that implementation happens
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by Tony Ailemen

July 12, 2018 | 11:29 am
  |     |     |   Start Conversation

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