Former Minister of External Affairs, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, has said that the South Africa State is culpable for the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other immigrants in South Africa.
A statement released yesterday on South African culpability on xenophobic attacks on Nigerians, Professor Akinyemi identified five reasons South African government should he held responsible for the violence unleashed on foreign nationals by South Africans.
These reasons included the statement credited to Dr. Grace Naledi Mandisa Pandor, South African Minister of International Relations, that Nigerians were drug dealers; the statement credited to Deputy Police Minister, Bongani Mkongi that they fought for their land and that that land would not be surrendered to immigrants; and the statement credited to the South African Defence Minister, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula that South Africa is an angry nation and that the country could not prevent the xenophobic attacks.
Other reasons included various statements credited to South African diplomats blaming the immigrants; and the anti-immigrant acts by the South African Immigration service officials which for all practical purposes amount to holding Nigerian immigrants hostage by refusing to allow them to be evacuated.
Concluding that South African State sponsored or condoned the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other immigrants, the Professor said this was a violation of Article 2, paragraph 2 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; Article 2, paragraph 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; United Nations Convention on the elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination and International Convention on the Protection of Migrant Workers.
“I therefore call on Nigeria to sue South Africa before the International Court of Justice for failure in its duty of care and protection of Nigerian citizens resident there. I furthermore call on Nigeria to file complaints against specific South African officials at the International Criminal Court for aiding and abetting the xenophobic attacks,” he said.