South African Police Xenophobia
Geoffrey Onyeama, former Minister for Foreign Affairs, has said attributed break down in communication as the causes of xenophobic attacks n Nigerians living in South Africa.
The former minister while responding to question during the screening of the ministerial nominee said he had commenced bi-national meetings between the Nigerian overnment and the South African’s.
He added that it was important to continue with the meeting “so this matter can also be addressed so it becomes an issue addressed with political will and by the highest level of government of South Africa”.
He said: “What I believe is the issue, is really one of communication and direct oversight of law enforcement agencies in South Africa. This seems to be the real problem for Nigerians in South Africa.
“We have set up a bi-national meeting at the level of Presidents, so it’s important that we organise very quickly the next meeting, so this matter can also be addressed so it becomes an issue addressed with political will and by the highest level of government of South Africa.
“Members of the union told me that the problem they were having is that they know the criminal elements among the Nigerian community and they will like a situation where they can go to the law enforcement agencies to alert them of those criminals so that actions can be taken quickly, but because of the trust deficit between the Nigerians and the South Africa police, they are not able to work with the authorities.
“There has to be a hotline between myself if re-appointed, and the ministry of foreign affairs of South Africa. Once there is any sign of problems on any Nigerian, to get it immediately across to the highest level of government in South Africa to engage with our high commission to start addressing the issue.
“The higher echelon of the police in South Africa can engage directly with the Nigerian Union of South Africa and this is a framework I tried to create. To sign this MoU, we need high-level engagement with them.”
SaharaReporters, New York