South Africa’s Foreign Minister, Naledi Pandor, has today blamed prejudice against people from other African countries as one of the causes behind the recent deadly attacks on foreign-owned businesses.
This is just as Pretoria was forced to shut its embassy in Nigeria due to fear of retaliatory attacks.
Not less than five Africans have been murdered in South Africa this week.
Yesterday, South African companies, MTN, and Shoprite closed stores in Nigeria after retaliatory attacks in one of the stores.
According to Pandor, the government temporarily closed the embassy in Nigeria due to security reasons after a protest march was planned there and threats of violence were received, NAN reports.
He added that South Africa was in constant contact with Nigerian authorities and was also working to restore calm in areas affected by the violence.
“There is an Afrophobia we are sensing that exists, there is resentment and we need to address that,” Pandor said.
“There is a targeting of Africans from other parts of Africa, we can’t deny that. But, there is also criminality … because a lot of this is accompanied by theft,” she said, describing the attacks as a complex phenomenon whose root causes were not easy to define.