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Xenophobia: South Africa Has Crossed The Diplomatic Red Lines

Posted by George on Tue 03rd Sep, 2019 -

As a student of foreign politics, I am aware of Nigeria's great role to the liberation of South Africa from the hands of white supremacists during the apartheid regime.

The killing of Nigerians in South Africa is a well-calculated action. This action started years back at the Zulu axis or region, where the King of Zulu backed and ordered the attack on foreigners especially Nigerians.
They came out boldly to inform the world of their actions and intentions, yet the global community is silent.
As a student of foreign politics, I am aware of Nigeria's great role to the liberation of South Africa from the hands of white supremacists during the Apartheid regime.
Right from the 1960s, during the time of  Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, till 1994, the nation spent millions of dollars to feed and assist the Zulu people and the entire South Africa.
Nigeria wasn't a member of the southern Africa corporation or union known as the front line States, but push itself in as a big brother and spend it resources to salvage South Africa.
Nigeria boycotted some diplomatic protocols with great powers to honor and fight for the liberation of South Africa from the shackles of bondage. Mandela wrote a letter to Nigeria in this respect.
South Africans are killing Nigerians, not because they are criminals, but because they have dominated their economy. Not because they do drugs or 419, but because they are legitimately progressing in their country. They claimed that most of the businesses in South Africa are own by foreigners. That their women are also been taken over by foreigners. Their jobs also etc. These accusations are laughable and worrisome.

The FBI just published 77/78 names of Nigerians on their watch list who are engaged in illegitimate businesses there. The United States didn't burn down their properties and killed them outrightly, the fetch out the bad eggs among them. Why can't South Africa do the same?
Weeks back, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia executed 23 Nigerians guilty of drugs according to their laws. We are worried but can't blame them because of their law. We expect South Africa to do the same.


1. Some believe that Nigeria is a failed state,hence the killings are justified. That is not true. Nigerians like other great countries like France, USA, Britain and Chinese lived in other countries as Nigerians to do business not because their various Government has failed. It is the international and global rights of Nigerians,as global citizens to travel and legitimately engaged in business in any part of the world. Insecurities in Nigeria and banditry has nothing to do with the attacks on our people and property in Nigeria. It is just an act of man's inhumanity to man, nothing less.
2. Some watchers of international politics believed that South Africans are battling with post-Apartheid memories. They have no choice than to vent their frustration on Nigerians. This position truly reflects and represent their condition.
3. Many others are of the view that the government of South Africa is sponsoring the attackers. South Africa has a very strong and solid internal security network. Why then will attackers killed, loot , molest and destroy properties without apprehension. This is a physical conspiracy in display. The Government is colluding with them to carry such aggressive and massive attacks in broad daylight, burning cars,shops and houses own by Nigerians? This is a diplomatic summersaults.
Specifically, no matter what the case is, South Africa must remember the words of Mandela to them about Nigeria. Killing Nigerians is not the way out. It has been said that South Africa youths are extremely lazy. Even in the US, Europe, Asia and the Arabic world, Nigerians are there doing their business without fear. Why is South Africa's case different? This is sobering and sickening. 


1. The discussion has moved from memorandum of understanding to memorandum of action. There should be a clear cut discuss on the way forward between the leadership of the two countries. The president of Nigeria has to meet his south Africa counterparts for an immediate action on this happenings. There have been a constant attacks on Nigerians daily in South Africa, last week, a 46-year-old Nigerian was murdered by the police in his house, in the presence of his family, he married a South African Lady. The attacks are not only done by the hoodlums alone, but also the police.
2. There should be a review of diplomatic protocols between the two nations. Mutually understanding and tolerance between them must be reconsidered.
3. The AU, Africa Union must delve into action to end this Carnage. If Africans kept killing Africans, what is the hope for the continent in the future? AU must call an emergency meeting to intervene accordingly.
4. The Economy Community of West Africa States should issue a notification to South Africa on the need to end this mess. It is a regional body that must protect all its regional members.
5. Nigeria Government must seek international assistance towards this happenings. The international community must talk to the leadership of South Africa. But must Africa allow the West to always colonized it? Saddened.
6. South Africa also has investment in Nigeria like DStv, Shoperite and MTN. The Nigeria Government should look towards placing a temporary band on them. The Government should deploy primary and secondary sanction mechanism. This will make the response and defend Nigerians.
7. The National assembly must write officially to the South Africa parliament and express its regrets in the issue. The South Africa parliament must call the president to order too.
Finally, am worried about the international image of Nigeria being dent daily by its fellow African country. This is distracting, disheartening and disturbing indeed.
XENOPHOBIA is a calculated attempt. Nigeria must use all resources available to tackle this before it doomed the continent. Friends of Nigeria should also speak out. The United States Government should talk to it Allie too.
Mark my words, "if the king of Zulu kingdom want this to end, he will call his boys to order...the traditional leadership and Government of South Africa are fully aware of this conspiracy". They aren't ignorant of the development.

Rwang Patrick Stephen
Department of Political Science,
Federal University of Kashere Gombe state.

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