South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa has stated on Wednesday that the attacks and killings of Nigerians and citizens of any other nationality is not targeted specifically at Nigerians but an act of criminality.
Ramaphosa, made this known while briefing state House correspondents after a closed-door meeting with President Muammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa Abuja.
Ramaphosa attributed the attacks and killing to unemployment and other social situation which is occasion by long apartheid misrule, he however assured that his government was doing all it can to stem the tide.
“These are acts of criminality. When we were involved in our struggle we said the South Africa that we are fighting for is the South Africa which will regard everyone who lives in South Africa on the basis of equality, respect for human rights.
“And we said that South Africa belongs to all the people who live in it; so the Nigerians who are in South Africa are also part of our community.
“They can never be targeted on intentional basis as people who must either be attacked or killed.
“When that happens I would like us to see that as acts of criminality which in the main affects many South Africans in various parts of our country.
“So see it in that regard and I would like that you should never think that it is being done against Nigerians intentionally.
“It is an act of criminality and our government is determined to bring down the levels of criminality and also to go after those who perpetrate these acts of criminality so that anyone who attacks any person in South Africa will be pursued with the might of the law to make sure that they are brought to justice and to book.’’ he said.
He acknowledge that there have been incidence of attacks and killing of Foreigners including Nigerian.
The President hinted that the country had in over a number of years been bringing down the level of crime in the country and working on a concerted basis to ensure that crime was reduced.
“The criminality that we have is borne out of a number of factors. One of those is unemployment amongst a number of our people. Twenty seven per cent of South Africans are unemployed which amounts to about nine million and most of these are young people.
“Poverty is still all pervasive in South Africa and all this emanates from our very said history of Apartheid misrule.
“There is still inequality in South Africa; a few people are extremely very rich and the majority of the people are very poor.
“And all these factors and others, and there are many other social factors that have contributed to the high levels of crime.