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Xenophobia: Why victims are not compensated – Envoy

 The South High Commission to Nigeria, Lulu Louis Mnguni, has said  that the victims of xenophobic attacks in his country are not being compensated because…

 The South High Commission to Nigeria, Lulu Louis Mnguni, has said  that the victims of xenophobic attacks in his country are not being compensated because the perpetrators "were not acting on instructions."

The envoy, who stated this on Thursday when he was summoned by the ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja, said the attackers were criminals and of course have to be arrested..

When reminded of the agreement of the Nigerian-South African Bi-National Commission to compensate the victims of attacks, he said "Well I was not part of that; but I will follow up on that."

He, however, said the South African government does not condone killings or looting carried out either by the police or individuals, noting that no amount of frustration justifies the attacks.

He said a number of arrests had been made and assured that investigation would be carried out and perpetrators be brought to justice.

Mnguni noted that there is need to reform the country’s police because of plethora of complaints about their conducts.

"The citizens complained that the police are corrupt that they did not address their concern, while the foreign nationals say they were being attacked in the presence of police," he said.

The envoy stressed the need for both Nigeria and South Africa to develop a common approach to address the issue of recurrent xenophobic attacks.

"Yes we are using the police; yes we are talking to the people, sensitizing them on our history and the contributions of Nigeria and other countries in ending apartheid. We hope that when they meet Nigerians, no matter how envious they may be, they become sensitive to this history.

Mnguni said the South African Minister of Home Affairs would meet with African diplomats in the country to address the situation.

In her speech, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hajia Khadijah Abba Ibrahim, urged the South African government to take measures to protect lives and properties of foreign nationals in the country.

The minister, however, condemned the report on the killing of Nigerians in the recent attack as substantiated, saying noting of such had happened.

She cautioned the media against disseminating false information to avoid further fuelling the already tense situation.

She also urged Nigerians in South Africa to remain calm and be law abiding and vigilant, assuring that the federal government would strenuously work towards their protection.

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