Fred Ituah, Abuja, with agency report
The South African Government has commenced inquest into the killing of Nigerians residing in the former apartheid country.
South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Bobby Moroe, disclosed this in Abuja, yesterday when he visited President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan.
Moroe said the visit was to brief the Senate leadership on his government’s investigations, to unravel the causes of xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and steps being taken to stop them.
The envoy, who expressed regret over killing of Nigerians and extended his country’s condolences to the families of the victims, said the inquest would reveal the cause of the attacks and killings and find solutions across board, and reiterated the commitment of the South African government and its law enforcement agencies to get to the root of the matter and prosecute perpetrators.
“Our government will continue to be committed to the good relationship with Nigeria. Your sentiment has gone deep into our heart, and you will be happy that the same sentiment has been our concern in South Africa.
“On behalf of the government of South Africa, we express our sincere condolences to Nigerian government for this unfortunate incident,” he stated.
On his part, Lawan, condemned the continuous killings of Nigerians in South Africa and warned that further attack on Nigerians would no longer be condoned.
Lawan expressed concerns that about 118 Nigerians have so far lost their lives in different attacks over the years, out of which 13 of the deaths were carried out by South African Police.
The meeting, according to the Lawan became pertinent, considering the incessant attacks on Nigerians residing in South Africa.
He said: “We, in the Parliament, must speak and prevent any further killings. These killings must stop. This is the era of social media where the corpse of a victim may spark violence that may go beyond the control of government.
“The South African government must, as a matter of urgency do whatever it takes to protect the lives and property of Nigerians living there, just as Nigerian government remain committed to the safety of South Africans residing here…”
In Lagos, lawyers, under the aegis of Anambra State Indigenous Lawyers Forum, yesterday, staged a protest outside the premises of the South Africa High Commission, Victoria Island, Lagos, over the spate of killings in South Africa.
Specifically, they protested over the recent killing of the Deputy Director General, of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, Mrs Elizabeth Ndubisi-Chukwu. They carried placards with different inscriptions and took their protest through the streets of Sinari Daranijo, which houses the South Africa High Commission.
After the protest, President of the group, Joe Nwokedi, told journalists that the death Mrs. Ndubisi-Chukwu is one crime too many., according to the News Agency of Nigeria.
No one at the High Commission, however, came out to receive the lawyers.