The ministry of foreign affairs says most violent conflicts and killings of Nigerians in South Africa were more of criminal activities than xenophobic attack.
Tope Elias-Fatile, the ministry’s spokesperson, said this while briefing journalists on Wednesday on a wide range of issues and activities of the ministry.
Elias-Fatile said the ministry was in constant touch with the Nigerian mission in South Africa to get reports of criminal-related issues involving Nigerians living in that country.
“From the report I can authoritatively tell you that the killings of Nigerians in South Africa were more of criminal issue,” he said.
Nigerians living in South Africa have suffered series of attacks by mobs in that country, causing loss of lives and destruction of properties.
NAN reports that no fewer than 116 Nigerians have been killed in the country in the last two years.
In January, two Nigerians were killed in Rustenburg and Durban.
In the same month, the Nigerian community in South Africa said a mob destroyed four shops and several houses belonging to their members at Krugersdorp, near Joha.
Fatile said most of the extra-judicial killings were more of crime-related issues against Nigerians than xenophobic.
He, however, said the ministry was working with relevant authorities in South Africa to ensure that there is an end to the attacks.
“There is a plan for a meeting to address the issues holistically. As I am talking to you the ministry is in touch with South African authority because that is one of the volatile area,” he said.
“Consistently we are in touch with the ambassador and the consular in South Africa and that is why I said that the pockets of killing are not actually xenophobia they are more of crime related issues.”