As a result of fear arising from attacks on South Africans and South African owned businesses by youths, the South Africa High Commission to Nigeria has shut down its offices and consulate in Lagos.
This was confirmed by the acting High Commissioner, Amb. Bobby Moroe who stated that he had directed the Mission to suspend all consular activities until the situation improved.
His reasons: Moroe said that the decision to shut down the offices temporarily was because he felt South Africans were unsafe as there were reported attacks on South Africans and their businesses in the country in a bid to retaliate the attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.
“I directed that the Mission should be closed until the situation improves. We heard that South Africans were being pulled out of vehicles and attacked. We feel unsafe and that is why I directed that the mission should close down until further notice.” He said.
Although the police had secured the mission in order to prevent the attacks from happening, Moroe said that it will remain closed because he did not want to take any chances on the matter.
More details: While giving reasons for the closure, the South African Foreign Affairs Minister, Naledi Pandor noted that even though both South Africa and Nigeria were in constant contact to try to resolve the issues, there is no provision in local law for compensation for damage caused in the attacks. Therefore the mission will be closed till further notice.
“There is an Afrophobia we are sensing that exists, there is resentment and we need to address that.” The minister said.
Meanwhile, due to the xenophobic attacks, Billionaire and the Founder/Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Jim Ovia has withdrawn from further activities at the World Economic Forum Africa 2019, taking place in Cape Town, South Africa.