Barely a day after the South African embassy in Nigeria was shut down over threats of retaliatory violence, the country’s Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor has acknowledged the “existence” of afrophobia (resentment of other Africans) amongst its citizens.
Pandor in an interview with newsmen at the continental economic conference in Cape Town, said they decided to temporarily close the embassy in Nigeria for security reasons after receiving threats of violence. Reuters reported that she disclosed that South African authorities are 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.
This is coming after the Nigerian government boycotted the three-day World Economic Forum (WEF) event holding in Cape Town, South Africa.