On Monday, the government of Nigeria called on the African Union to intervene in the xenophobic attacks happening in South Africa which are primarily targeting Nigerians and other black foreigners living in the country
The Nigerian government condemned the attacks, adding that in the last two years alone, about 116 Nigerians have been killed.
“This is unacceptable to the people and government of Nigeria,” a senior presidential aide on foreign affairs, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said in a statement.
She added that more attacks were also being planned for Wednesday and Thursday, calling for the South African government to protect the life of citizens living in the country
On Sunday some Nigerian houses and businesses were razed by angry South African mobs who claimed the businesses were illegal while the homes were brothels and took part in illicit activities including drugs.
The attacks were confirmed by Ikechukwu Anyene who said it included the looting of businesses owned by Nigerians including a church in Pretoria west. The pastor of the church is said to have been wounded and is receiving treatment.
A witness claimed that the mob had chanted that “all foreigners must leave” as they sought to destroy the properties of the foreigners.
“We are tired of the crime in our area. These Nigerians must take their drugs back to Lagos,” Charles Nqakula of Pretoria West province reportedly said in support of the xenophobic attacks.
About 800,000 Nigerians are living in South Africa, particularly in Johannesburg.
Xenophobia has been rife in South Africa even since its Apartheid days. The end of apartheid sadly did not bring with it an end to Xenophobic attacks in South Africa, as more and more ensued.
In 2015, when Zulu King, Goodwill Zwelithini remarked that foreigners living in South Africa should return to their home countries, a series of attacks were carried out against foreigners in South Africa. According to the Zulu King, the immigrants in SA were changing the nature of the society in SA, as well as taking jobs and enjoying the wealth that he deemed should have been for local South Africans alone.