A Revisitational Examination of the Xenophobic Attacks on Nigerians in South Africa and Its Socio-Economic and Political Implications for the Host Country

Charles Ijiwole Ijisakin, Kehinde Ernest Fakanbi


There is no denying the fact that Nigerians are facing primitive and undeserved xenophobic attacks in the hands of South Africans in South Africa. From Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Soweto, Bloemfontein, Pretoria, East London, Limpopo to Port Elizabeth it is the same barbaric tale of gruesome molestation and hounding down of foreign nationals, especially Nigerians. These heinous attacks when juxtaposed with Nigeria’s financial and logistic support in her (South Africa) apartheid dark days, one will conclude without any iota of doubt that it is an act of ingratitude. Even though, there are allegations of Nigerians soiling their hands by engaging in the illicit businesses, it begs the questions that, why not allow the long arms of the law to take its course; rather than taking laws into their hands.These attacks by South Africans is not new, considering the hostilities being meted out to Nigerians by her Francophone proximate neighbours (Cameroun and Republic of Benin). To a Beninoise, an average Nigerian is an “Ibo”, regardless of the person’s ethnic stock in Nigeria. This is due to the fact that, out of every ten Nigerians in Cotonou, between seven to eight are ibos, especially in their main market (Topa and Missebour). From their borders or airports as the case may be, to their car parks, restaurants police stations, it is a testimony to their general hate for anything Nigerian. Even the elites who are supposed to evince panache and finesse and maintain an Olympian aloofness from the barbarism and despicable acts that characterise the interpersonal relationship of the illiterates Beninnoise or Camerounians to Nigerians are not doing any better. The paper therefore, interrogates the remote and immediate causes of the attacks in South Africa, the diverse circumstances surrounding them, the socio-political and economic implications of the attacks on both countries. The paper makes appropriate recommendations.

Keywords: South Africa, Xenophobia, Nigeria, Attack.

DOI: 10.7176/IAGS/68-02

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ISSN (Paper)2224-574X ISSN (Online)2224-8951

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