By Peter Ejiofor
Amid fears of fresh Xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other foreign nationals, the Nigerian Union South Africa (NUSA), says it will complain to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and the Office of Public Protector about renewed threats.
The President of NUSA, Mr Collins Mgbo, who made the disclosure on Thursday in Lagos in a statement emailed from Johannesburg, said the union was dismayed by the new wave of anti-migrant sentiments in South Africa, especially by some political leaders.
Mgbo, however, said that Nigerians would key into the advisory statement issued by the Nigerian High Commission Pretoria wherein they were advised to take precautionary safety and security measures as they go about their various businesses.
He expressed dismay that some political leaders and even aspirants were now using foreign nationals to popularise their political ambitions.
“Foreign nationals have become a tool to build one’s political Curriculum Vitae (CV) and support base from the citizens.
“Speaking during a tombstone unveiling for Nathaniel Julies, Patriotic Alliance Leader, Gayton Mackenzie, said he would go a step further to deal with foreigners,’’ the statement said.
It added that Mackenzie said that they (foreign nationals) were lucky he wasn’t president, noting that he had continued to use the lives of innocent and vulnerable foreign nationals as a campaign tool to boost his political ambition in 2024.
According to Mackenzie, illegal foreigners should not even be in the country because their being here is a crime.
“They must thank their lucky stars I was not the leader of the country because I would walk into that hospital, I would unplug that gas that they are enjoying from South Africa and I would bring somebody from South Africa and I would connect them to the gas. If they must die, they must die,’’ Mgbo quoted Mackenzie as having said.
“Mackenzie has given his followers the license to kill foreign nationals in South Africa and this is worrying.’’
He said NUSA was also, though respectfully, calling the attention of the government of the day, the ANC, political leaders from other political parties, The Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (CONTRALESA) and the President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency, President Cyril Ramaphosa, in particular to intervene in the matter because people’s lives were in danger.
“This is totally against what the constitution of the Republic of South Africa represents, and thus, endangers the fundamental human rights of foreign nationals in South Africa.
“Nigerian Union South Africa will submit an official complaint to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and the Office of the Public Protector for further investigation into the matter.
“NUSA is appealing to all Nigerians in South Africa to be calm and law abiding as they go about their businesses because we have faith that the justice system and the law enforcement agencies will do the needful,’’ Mgbo said.