Xenophobic attacks on Nigerians: SERAP asks SADC to sanction South Africa

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has sent an open letter to King Mswati III of Swaziland, and Chairperson, Southern African Development Community, SADC, urging him to “convene an emergency summit of the SADC heads of state and government to discuss the persistent xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other foreign nationals living in South Africa.”

The organisation also urged SADC to “Use the Organ on Politics, Defence, and Security Cooperation within SADC to immediately set up an independent and impartial body to investigate all acts of xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other foreign nationals. The investigation’s findings and recommendations should be made public, suspected perpetrators brought to justice and victims must enjoy the right to an effective remedy and reparation.”

In the letter dated February 24, 2017 and signed by SERAP executive director Adetokunbo Mumuni, the organisation said that, “persistent and longstanding xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other foreign nationals, the complete impunity of perpetrators and the failure of the authorities to provide an effective remedy and reparation to victims directly undermine SADC mandates on regional integration and human rights.”

The letter reads in part: “The immigration status of Nigerians and other foreign nationals who are victims of the attacks in South Africa can never justify any xenophobic attacks on them.”

“SERAP is seriously concerned about the apparent complicity of the South African authorities and officials in persistent and serious human rights violations and abuses against thousands of Nigerians living in the country, and/or the failure of the authorities to exercise due diligence to prevent those violations and abuses.”

“We are also concerned about the failure of the South African authorities to provide an effective remedy and reparation to victims, including restitution, compensation, rehabilitation, satisfaction and guarantees of non-repetition.”

“SERAP urges you to use the opportunity of your term as chair of SADC to put pressure on the South African government to resolve the persistent occurrence of xenophobia in the country and ensure there is no impunity for the perpetrators.”

“The SADC must remind the government of its obligations and commitments including under the SADC treaties and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights to protect everyone including Nigerians living in its territory from violent attacks, regardless of their status.”

“SERAP is calling on SADC to help South Africa demonstrate its leadership in addressing xenophobia and protecting the safety and rights of all, including Nigerians and other foreign nationals in the country.”

“Nigerians and other foreign nationals are living in fair of continuing attacks as the South African authorities have apparently failed to protect them or guarantee their security and safety. We are concerned that over 100 Nigerians have been unlawfully killed and their properties and businesses destroyed in South Africa in the last two years alone as a result of xenophobic attacks.”

“SERAP notes that the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights adopted a resolution at its 56th Ordinary Session in Banjul, The Gambia in April 2015 condemning xenophobic attacks in South Africa.”

SERAP therefore urged SADC to:

  1. Convene an emergency summit of SADC heads of state and government to discuss the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other foreign nationals with a view to putting pressure on the South African authorities to provide a long-term security guarantee to all Nigerians and other foreign nationals in the country;
  2. Publicly condemn xenophobia in all its forms and manifestations and urge South African authorities to put measures in place to ensure that it does not recur;
  3. Urge the government of South Africa to take immediate steps to guarantee the safety and human rights of all Nigerians and other foreign nationals living in the country;
  4. Work with the African Union and the UN to consider the possibility of regional sanctions against South Africa for its failure to address the root causes of the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other foreign nationals, identify and punish suspected perpetrators, and provide an effective remedy and reparation to victims.

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  • sammyctu ode

    SERAP it’s of no use writing SADC to sanction S.A. cos all those countries depend on S.A. for electricity and their economic survival. They are all slaves to south Africa and are toothless bull dogs. As long as bad governance by Zuma and ANC continues these low level illiterate south Africans will continue to attack our people. To be honest Mandela made a mistake by not going into an aggressive economic reforms towards empowering the blacks cos he wanted to satisfy the western nations. The minority whites in S.A. still control the economy and vast lands of S.A..

    • sagnik roy

      or thats what a racist scum like u want to believe..

  • Mkabayi

    Mxmm…

    Any foreigner found guilty of crime; especially drug dealing, human trafficking and prostituting children should be deported to their countries and should never be allowed in.SA again. And the affected families should receive reparations from the offender’s country.

    Pain is not one sided. South Africa should not be treated as a playground by foreign scum. Our politicians are so out of touch with what is happening in the communities.

    People are gatvol of illegal immigrants . You can’t have undocumented/ unknown people roaming around anywhere in the country doing as they please. Because there is no info about them – no name (or fake names), no fixed address, they commit crime and disappear afterwards. Unless the root causes of this anger is not address this will flare up again. Instead of being politically correct SA politicians need to listen to communities. People are not crazy.

    • lisacambell46

      The last time i check your grand father and mother where an illegal immigrant,have you forgotten,bitch as fool,lazy bone and Hiv infest coward

      • Mkabayi

        Hawu? Really. You are so angry; poor thing. You seem to know something I don’t. Did you infest me with AIDS?

        It’s possible to argue without swearing and cursing at people you don’t know. You are disrespecting and embarrassing yourself.

        • lisacambell46

          I will kill you when i see you,the battle line is drawn SA in Nigeria are not safe

          • Mkabayi

            Are you okay? You will kill who, and for what?

            How can you call people “bitches” and such unnecesary names for stating their views?

          • lisacambell46

            Look i know you live in Nigeria,you guys are not safe,because those Nigeria whom you loot their shops are burning their houses will come after you,I was waiting for you guys to kill any Nigeria in your Xenophobic attack and see if any SA in Nigeria will live to tell their story,Hungry people

          • Mkabayi

            You have a sick mind…..

          • lisacambell46

            It you who is Xenophobic,you treat an animal like a animal,asshole

  • lisacambell46

    Fucking South Africa,lazy people

  • lisacambell46

    Hiv and Aid country,hungry people

    • Mkabayi

      Hmmmm…..At least South Africans are hungry in their country.

      What’s with you with this HIV and Aids. Are you OK upstairs (in your head)? Do you need HIV treatment? Poor thing.

      HIV is not a South African disease you know. It’s all over the world and it is a disease like any. You seem stuck in the past when ppl with the virus were stigmatised. Grow up. People are living positive and productive lives with it. So what is your problem?

      Do you also want to laugh at ppl with cancer, diabetes, Ebola virus, malaria?

      • lisacambell46

        Asshole,lazy people,even a white SA once told me that he hate you guys with passion

  • Eben

    mkabayi, i am happy you said deported back to their country, but speak as if the south africans themselves were saints! the last time i checked a south african aged woman at 95 was raped and strangled to death in Uitenhage eastern part of cape town,,, guess who carried out the barbaric act. it was your brothers south africans…its obvious you guys are still mentally retarded and still in slavery to your captors which is why when you see foreign nationals of your own colour do well you become envious of them especially my Nigerian people who are highly liberated anywhere they go they are not afraid. they are not cowards like you south africans. my people love to work hard and live well anywhere they are, thats why they take your women and the get the jobs you south africans are iccapable of doing… since and before apathied that Nigeria took a lead role fighting your peoples freedom from your masters, we have never shown hatred to you south africans neither did any blood of a south african has been spilled in my country instead we welcome your people but this is how you pay us back?, just know that the battle line has been drawn, Nigeria and south africa are enemies for life. i urge Nigerian govt to close down sa embassy in Nigeria and recall our embassy thats in that country of unfriendly people

    • Mkabayi

      Eben – Nigerians like to exaggerate everything. That’s what turns ppl off. Your politicians also don’t help. They like to add fuel to a small fire and make it big.

      Two incidences in small communities where locals, tired of being terrorised in their communities attacked houses of known drug dealers and pimps who happenned to be Nigerians. This has turned into “South Africans attack Nigerians and loot their businesses” and all other inflammatory headlines.

      No one hates Nigerians or targets them just bcoz they are Nigerians. Of the thousands Nigerians legally residing in SA only the few criminal elements involved were affected. To then conclude that “Nigerians are being attacked” is an exaggeration beyond measure.

      SA has more than 50 million people who have their lives to focus on; and care less about Nigerians. There are many foreign nationals in the country but for some reason things always get twisted and become about Nigerians.

      If only people can focus on the facts and the media reports accurately on what exactly happened. The over the top reactions tend to stir emotions more than actual events.

  • Mkabayi

    A Rosettenville‚ Johannesburg‚ man found guilty of exploiting a 15-year-old girl is to be sentenced in the South Gauteng High Court on Friday.
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    Nigerian national Eke Ugochukwu‚ 30‚ was found guilty on Tuesday of the sexual exploitation of a child‚ living off the earnings of sexual exploitation‚ being an accomplice to rape and contravening the Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act.

    His bail was immediately revoked.

    Ugochukwu‚ who admitted selling drugs to sex workers‚ appeared to be in disbelief when he was found guilty.

    Judge Majake Mabesele acquitted him of kidnapping‚ child trafficking and the rape of his 15-year-old accuser.

    The court heard how Ugochukwu’s victim ended up in his house after she fled from her home in Sebokeng‚ Vereeniging‚ after a fight with her mother.

    The girl had accompanied her 16-year-old friend to Ugochukwu’s house. Her friend claimed he was her boyfriend‚ but the girl later discovered Ugochukwu was also the friend’s pimp.

    The girl claimed to have been deserted by her friend at the Rosettenville brothel and kept there against her will.

    The State had claimed the girl had been forced to remain because she had been dependent on drugs she bought from Ugochukwu‚ who she knew as Johnny‚ with the little money from her clients she had been allowed to keep.

    Evidence from the teenager was that the accused as well as her clients had sex with her without her consent.

    She ran away several weeks later to a nearby church where she found help.

    Judge Mabesele‚ however‚ said he believed that the girl had left the brothel because she was sick and had sores on her body.

    “There was no longer business because she was sick‚ ” Judge Mabesele said.

    Ugochukwu had admitted to selling drugs to sex workers but denied giving any to the girl.

    He denied any involvement in his accusers’ activities as a sex worker. He said he had chased the girl from the brothel when he realised she was a minor.

    The case is a first of its kind under the Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act‚ 7 of 2013. The Act came into effect on August 9 2015.