Buhari is on a visit to South Africa for talks with
his counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa after violent attacks on Africans living in the
country created bad blood between citizens of the two African powerhouses.
In early September fresh outbursts of violence against foreigners erupted in parts of South Africa and over a dozen people were killed when mobs torched and looted shops and destroyed cars in places such as Johannesburg and Pretoria.
A month later and despite objections from some quarters of Nigerian society, Buhari has embarked on a three-day visit to South Africa. He and Ramaphosa discussed political cooperation and trade, Buhari met the members of Nigerian business community and took part in a Nigerian-South African business forum.
The two leaders of Africa’s mightiest economies touched briefly on the problem of Xenophobia in South Africa at a press conference in Pretoria.
President Buhari condemned the violence saying that both Nigeria and South Africa were committed to addressing the challenges.
‘It’s a question of competition are very low level whether they are barbers or have small shops, where they feel it should belong exclusively to the indigenous people or it is open to all people,’ he said
President Ramaphosa said he wanted to reiterate South Africa’s deeper regret over the violence.
‘We would like to assure to you that South Africa is committed to the ideas of African unity and solidarity, to respect the human rights of others and to ensure that South Africans is ruled by the rule of law,’ he affirmed
While the leaders met, tensions between South Africans and foreigners living in the country continued to simmer. For weeks, South African truck drivers have been pushing for employees to stop employing foreign drivers.
In the past few months dozens of attacks, often targeting truck drivers from other parts of Africa have left several people dead or inured.
Long distance truck driver in South Africa
‘I don’t feel very safe because we can be attacked at any
time, it’s a pity because we also cross the border,’ stated a Zimbabwean driver
Following the incidents of violence police arrested members of the All Truck Drivers Foundation (ATDF)
The head of the organization says it has nothing to do with the violence but many of its 5,000 members are frustrated
‘By the end of the day there is the question how come you give somebody from a foreign country the papers to do the job that I can do here,’ asks Sipho Zungu, an ATDF member.
He says he believes that giving more jobs to South Africans rather than foreigners would solve the problem.