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FLASHBACK: In 2012, South Africa Deportation: AU begs Jonathan

Former President of Nigeria Jonathan
Former President of Nigeria Jonathan

Cases of discrimination and violence against Nigerians living or visiting South Africa are not strange at all.

After reports of attacks on foreign nationals, especially Nigerians, living in South Africa rippled on Monday, President Muhammadu Buhari sent an envoy to the country to register the government’s displeasure.

The envoy is expected to arrive in South Africa on Today.

In 2012, there was a diplomatic row between both countries after some Nigerians were deported.

As diplomatic row between Nigeria and South Africa continued, It was learnt that some AU members have been pleading with President Goodluck Jonathan to over look the unrestrained behavior of President Jacob Zuma.

It was gathered that the AU stepped into the crisis, in view of the strategic roles of Nigeria in Africa.

The AU was worried because Nigeria is the largest contributor to peace-keeping operations in Africa.

The Africa leaders begged President Jonathan not to give President Zuma a chance to divide the Union.

They also reminded Nigeria of its sacrifice in making South Africa and other Frontline States become independent nations, urging Nigeria to play a big brother role.

Nigeria government asked South Africa to apologise for the illegal deportation of 125 citizens of Nigeria or they go harder on them.

Already, Nigeria gave five conditions to be met by South Africa to end the impasse sparked by the incident.
Which were:

•Unconditional apology to Nigeria over the deportation of 125 Nigerian travellers;
•compensation for all the victims of the cruelty;
•disciplinary action against all the officials involved in the incident;
•a review of the Yellow Fever Vaccination Card policy; and
•a commitment that such a diplomatic slip will not reoccur
A Ministry of Foreign Affairs source, who pleaded not to be named, said: “We are awaiting the response of South Africa to our demands

“Just wait till Thursday and you will be proud to be a Nigerian from the steps we are going to take.”
The diplomatic row continued last night, with Nigeria deporting 42 more South Africans, who flew into Lagos aboard a South Africa Airways flight 060.


Six days after the incident, Ibrahim Ibrahim, the South African deputy foreign minister at the time, tendered an apology to Nigeria.

“We wish to humbly apologise to them, and we have,” Ibrahim said.

“We are apologising because we deported a number of people who should not have been deported,” adding that he does not expect an apology from Nigeria for the tit-for-tat deportations of South African nationals.

He described the deportation as “a regrettable incident which the South African government believes could have been handled better”.

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