South Africa Apologises To Nigeria Over Xenophobic Attacks

South Africa has apologised to Nigeria over a spate of xenophobic attacks which led to a spike in tensions between the two countries, according to a BBC report.

No Nigerian was killed but the attack, which occurred earlier this month, claimed twelve other lives, mainly in Johannesburg.

Of the 12 people who were killed, 10 are reported to have been South African nationals and two were from Zimbabwe.

A special envoy from South Africa presented an apology to Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday.

The envoy, Jeff Radebe, expressed the country’s “sincerest apologies” at a meeting in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.

“The incident does not represent what we stand for,” he said, adding that South African police would “leave no stone unturned” in bringing those involved to justice.

Mr Radebe also told President Buhari that the South African government condemned the violence and was taking decisive action.

Mr Buhari thanked Mr Radebe for “coming to explain to us what happened in South Africa recently, leading to [the] killing and displacement of foreigners”.

“President Buhari responded to profuse apologies from the South African president, pledging that the relationship between the two countries will be solidified,” a statement from his office said.

At the end of last week, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa told the BBC that he felt ashamed by the recent violence.

“We are very concerned and of course as a nation we [are] ashamed because this goes against the ethos of what South Africa stands for,” he said.

Nigeria has been outspoken in its condemnation of the violence. A fortnight ago, it withdrew a delegation from a major international conference taking place in South Africa.

Tensions were inflamed after videos and images were shared on social media purporting to show Nigerians being attacked and killed. The Nigerian government said there was no evidence that this had taken place.

But it did say that Nigerian-owned businesses had been targeted.

The attacks started after lorry drivers staged a strike to protest against the employment of foreigners.