Why Nigerians are being killed in South Africa – Foreign Ministry

South Africans on rampage
South Africans on rampage [Photo credit: CBS News]

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said that most violent conflicts and killings of Nigerians in South Africa were more of criminal activities than xenophobic attack

The ministry’s spokesperson, Tope Elias-Fatile, stated this while briefing journalists on Wednesday in Abuja on a wide range of issues and activities of the ministry.

Mr. Elias-Fatile said the ministry was in constant touch with the Nigerian mission in South Africa to get reports of criminal-related issues involving Nigerians living in that country.

“”From the report I can authoritatively tell you that the killings of Nigerians in South Africa were more of criminal issue,” he said.

Nigerians living in South Africa had suffered series of attacks by mobs in that country, causing loss of lives and destruction of properties.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that no fewer than 116 Nigerians have been sent to their early graves in the country through extra-judicial means in the last two years.

More recently in January, two Nigerians were killed in Rustenburg and Durban in an attack on some Nigerians in South Africa.

On January 20, Nigerian community in South Africa said that a mob destroyed four shops and several houses belonging to their members at Krugersdorp, near Joha.

In the same vein on January 21 two Nigerians including 27-year-old Ebuka Okori, were killed in that country.

Another two Nigerians were viciously killed within 48 hours, barely a month after President Jacob Zuma was honoured by the Imo Government in 2017.

On October 11, 2017, Jelili Omoyele, a 35-year-old cellular phone technician, was allegedly shot dead in Johannesburg while Olamilekan Badmus, a 25-year-old from Ogun, was also killed at Vaal Vreneging, near Johannesburg.

Mr. Fatile maintained that most of the extra judicial killings were more of crime related issues against Nigerians than xenophobic attacks.

He, however, said that the ministry was working with relevant authorities in South Africa to ensure that there is an end to this heinous crime

“There is a plan for a meeting to address the issues holistically. As I am talking to you the Ministry is in touch with South African authority because that is one of the volatile area.

“”Consistently we are in touch with the ambassador and the consular in South Africa and that is why I said that the pockets of killing are not actually xenophobia they are more of crime related issues,” he said

On the situation of Nigerian returnees from Libya, Mr. Fatile said the ministry was working with the National Emergency Management Agency, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, and other relevant government agencies to ensure their welfare.

He said the minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, had also directed a senior official of the ministry to liaise with state governments to evacuate returnees abandoned at the reception camp in Port Harcourt.



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  • Faxy

    Hmmm nawa oo

    • Ahembe Richard

      Na wa my brother. What do you call criminal elements targeted at a particular people?. Cameroonians kill us it is nothing south Africans kill us the foreign ministry sees it as nothing. Just imagine what will happen if an American is killed the same way.

      • Silent_mejority

        Richard, as a Nigerian I am actually ashamed. But if truth must be told, most of our youth who have gone to SA are into drug pushing.

        • VERITAS_ the rock of ages_

          yes we have criminals everywhere but we all know that the south Africa attacks on Nigerians is xenophobic and envy together.

      • PolyGon2013

        Don’t mind them. Shame on The Ministry of Foreign Affairs!

  • PolyGon2013

    Oh hell no. It is xenophobic! Stop this non-sense. Why are Nigerians targeted then? Shame on The Ministry of Foreign Affairs! To hell with South Africans.

    • Julius

      Same here!!

  • thusspokez

    Mr. Elias-Fatile said the ministry was in constant touch with the Nigerian mission in South Africa to get reports of criminal-related issues involving Nigerians living in that country.

    This Nigerian ministry of Foreign Affairs seems to be making excuses for the killers of his compatriots in South Africa (SA). Nigerian lives do not matter in Nigeria, even less so outside Nigeria.

    If for the sake of argument, we accept that these killings are criminal-related, where in the world is it legitimate for mobs to kill any criminal. And how many of SA people had been killed by Nigerians in these criminal acts — if this were criminal-related.

    Mr. Elias-Fatile is only a spokesperson, but this is one more example of a mediocre ministry headed by an inept minister Geoffrey Onyeama, the minister of Foreign Affairs.

  • thusspokez

    Mr. Fatile maintained that most of the extra judicial killings were more of crime related issues against Nigerians than xenophobic attacks.

    Despite repeating himself that the killings are “criminal-related”, he failed to mention even one such criminal activity.

    Further, How did Mr. Fatile’s ministry come to this conclusion, namely, that theses killings are criminal-related? Only the SA police, based on their own investigations, can possible establish Mr Fatiles’ claims as true. Where then did Mr. Fatile’s ministry got its conclusions.

    In the past, there had been xenophobic attacks against:Mozambican, Congolese, Malawian, Somali, Pakistani immigrants. Even the UN has criticised the SA government’s handling of xenophobic attacks. Yet the Nigerian ministry of Foreign Affairs is denying that these killing of 116 Nigerians are xenophobic attacks and instead calling these dead Nigerians criminals.

    These people running Nigeria are the most inept and indeed some of the most stúpíd people on planet earth. 116 Nigerians killed in SA and a Nigerian government spokesperson calls them criminals to justify their killings by mobs in SA?

    • VERITAS_ the rock of ages_

      very factual comments. Thank you.

    • FreeNigeria

      Nigeria will be a better country if monkeys are running her, then these wayward bunch we currently have

    • John U Azubuike

      It’s really unfortunate that a staff of external affairs ministry could justify the killing of fellow citizens on grounds of being involved or suspected of criminal activities, the deep seated hatred against fellow Nigeria’s citizens by our foreign embassies calls for serious concerns, you are look at as if to ask you what brought you here.

  • Julius

    Unbelievable explanation/comment from the people that supposed to be looking out for our citizens all over the world. Are they trying to make excuses for the host country ? To the best of my knowledge, when someone is caught doing criminal activities, they are usually arrested and prosecuted in the court of law, not being killed in the street like animals. This is unacceptable.

    • FreeNigeria

      How can we tell SA to stop killing Nigerians, when our President can’t tell his kinsmen to stop killing Nigerians

      • Frank Tee

        Excellent response sir.

      • Julius

        So why making excuses for the SA people and government ? By your logic the Nigerian government has no right to tell any foreign government/ people to stop killing our citizens. Wonderful!!

        • FreeNigeria

          Charity begins at home.

          • Julius

            Sure..your superior sense in display. What a joke sir !

  • Odinaka

    There is no justification for taking the lives of fellow Africans. The South African police too have been unfair to Nigerians, to some extent. However, many Nigerians in SA are in drug business and other forms of crime, which are shameful. I did a study in SA and found that Nigerians and Zimbabweans are responsible for most of the crimes in that country. But Nigerians are in the majority. If you lose your bank card in SA, be sure to find it in the hand of a Nigerian, who will discover your pin number and withdraw your rands! This is shameful and is happening because of wrong information and lifestyle of Nigerians there, when they return. Why should someone spend N1m to get SA visa through an agent? In SA, responsible Nigerians do not identify themselves as our citizens due to the attitude of Nigerians there.

  • KneeGrowPlz

    South Africans acting like this. A few years later down the road they will be begging Africa for help. Well guess what! I will laugh my ass off! South Africans act like the American KKK

  • omo56

    Nigerians living in SA may be safer than their fellow citizens living in Benue

  • Uzor Enyeribe

    That should be the appropriate question.