Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
After days of intense xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other foreign nationals in South Africa, coupled with the reactions witnessed across Nigeria, the South African Government has shut down its High Commission in Abuja indefinitely.
An official of the High Commission who spoke with Daily Sun on condition of anonymity said the decision was taken due to concerns about the safety of the High Commission.
“We have closed for the day. We will open when we know it is safe to do so. We may open tomorrow,” the official told Daily Sun.
At 9:30 am when Daily Sun visited the High Commission, the premises was empty as none of the officials were in sight except for scores of policemen stationed in front of the building.
The South African High Commission, which sits directly opposite the Europe House on Constitution Avenue, in Abuja’s Central Business District, wore a desolate mood at the time of filing this report.
Efforts to reach the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Bobby Moroe, for his reaction proved abortive as Moroe did not respond to calls placed to his mobile line.
However, Moroe was reported to have said that reactions across the country towards South Africans necessitated the decision to close the Commission.
Moroe also said he gave the directive that the High Commission in Abuja and the Consulate of South Africa in Lagos suspend all consular matters pending when the situation will be favourable.