South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has described the killings of Nigerians in South Africa as criminally motivated.
He said this on Wednesday when visited he visited President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
Ramaphosa while addressing journalists, after a meeting with President Buhari said criminal elements are behind the killings and the South African government will bring them to book.
“There are many other social factors that have contributed to the high levels of crime and criminality is something we are focusing on. We are doing everything to bring it down. In the course of everything else, people in various part of the country do get engulfed in acts of criminality, the majority of them are South Africans.”
He, however, noted that he hopes South Africa and Nigeria will deepen both economic and political ties for the benefit of the people.
Xenophobia attacks in South Africa have led to the death of many Nigerians, in recent years including 39-year-old Uchenna Eloh and 35-year-old Clement Kalu, who was allegedly tortured to death by the South African police,
Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, in his reaction to the Xenophobia attacks early this year, said South Africa has the highest crime rate in Africa. The Minister said the level of Xenophobia attacks in South Africa is unacceptably high.
“The crime situation in South Africa is very high, probably the highest in Africa. So there is a high level of crime, it is not just that Nigerians are victims of crime in South Africa.”
Onyeama further blamed the Xenophobia attacks on trust deficit between the Nigerian Union of South Africa and the South African police.
Ramaphosa’s visit is his first visit to Nigeria and also the first outside the borders of South African development community countries since he took over leadership of South Africa.