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Buhari confronts S’ Africa president over killings of Nigerians

President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa has described as ‘upsetting’ the protracted killings of Nigerians in South Africa, noting that the trend had necessitated the call for a meeting of the leaders of both countries on how to promptly nip the matter in the bud.

The Presidency had, earlier in the month, said President Muhammadu Buhari and his South African counterpart would meet, in October, to discuss issues relating to well-being of citizens and ways to further strengthen trade relations between the two largest African economies.

President Ramaphosa stated this while fielding questions from journalists on the sidelines of the ongoing seventh Tokyo International Conference for Africa Development (TICAD7) in Yokohama.

He said his government was very upset about the development.

Te South African president’s reaction was coming following the latest report that a group of eight South African policemen have allegedly killed a Nigerian businessman in South Africa’s eastern cape province.

The policemen were reported to have killed the Nigerian national when they interrogated him at his home at the weekend.

South Africans have been involved in xenophobic killings of Nigerians, who claimed that they were robbing them of job opportunities in their own countries.

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The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), recently, picketed three South African companies, including MTN, threatening to shut them down if the killings of their fellow citizens in South Africa do not stop.

President Ramaphosa, however, told reporters that his country’s justice system had already taken up the matter, pointing out that he was not in support of the killings, and insisted that there was no justifiable reason for anybody to be killed.

The South African leader described the meeting he had with his Nigerian counterpart as a ‘good forum’ for both South Africa and Nigeria to renew the bond of unity between them and simultaneously share together issues of common interest in the overall interest of the African continent.

“Well, no, no, we are going to be discussing all that because we have very good relations. We ‘ll talk about the issue of Nigerians who are dying in South Africa.

“We feel very upset about that.

“Obviously, our criminal justice system is working on it. We don’t support killings. Nobody should ever be killed, but it’s also good to use this opportunity here in Japan to renew the bond between us, to talk about common things between South Africa and Nigeria. We know we have to play key roles in the overall development of the continent,” President Ramaphosa said.