South African President, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa has condemned the recent attack on Nigerians and other foreign nationals in the country.

Mr. Ramaphosa in a tweet on his official Twitter page said there was no justification for the attack on foreign nationals. He was reacting to the looting and burning of businesses and property belonging to foreigners in  South Africa which began on Sunday.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed “deep concern,” over the attacks on Nigerian citizens and property in South Africa.

A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina indicates that President Buhari has despatched special envoy to his South African counterpart, President Cyril Ramaphosa. The Special Envoy is expected to arrive in Pretoria on Thursday.

In a related development, a former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu has condemned the incessant xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other African nationals in South Africa. The former Speaker of the Parliament of Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS Parliament, regretted that the Government of South Africa had not wielded the big stick to end the attacks. The lawmaker urged the African Union to take drastic actions that would call South Africa to order to enable law abiding African nationals to enjoy peace and safety in a fellow African nation.

Also, the police in Abuja today beefed up security at the Jabi Mall in the nation’s capital amid the anger over xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa. The heavy security presence follows a planned protest at Jabi area earlier today. The security officers were stationed around the shopping complex and were seen doing security search on those coming into the mall.

In a similar vein, the Lagos State Government has condemned in strong terms the attack on Shoprite complexes at Jakande and Sangotedo area of the city, over response to xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and foreigners in South Africa. The State Government said in a statement that the attacks were contrary to the Nigerian spirit of accommodation and benevolence. The statement adds that the State Government remains committed to providing a conducive atmosphere where businesses are conducted without hindrances.

It says security agencies have been directed to ensure that law and order prevail in all parts of the State as Lagosians are advised to go about their activities without any fear.

In the meantime, South Africa owned telecommunications giant, MTN, has announced the closure of all its shops in Nigeria.

In a message to its subscribers on Wednesday, MTN Nigeria announced the closure of its shops and the operation of only its online platforms.

This may not be unconnected with the threat by some Nigerians to reciprocate the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.

There had been series of attacks on Nigerians and their businesses in South Africa. An action which the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama says the South African Government was not doing enough to quell. The attacks by South Africans also led to an attempt by Some Nigerians to raid some South African owned companies in Nigeria, including MTN, Dstv and Shoprite.

Some Africans have come out to boycott South Africa after days of looting and violence targeting foreigners in which five people died. Nigerian singers and Zambia’s football team are among those in the boycott. Nigerian Afrobeats Star Burna Boy vowed never to go to South Africa again until the Government does the needful. He tweeted that he had had his own “xenophobic experiences in the hands of South Africans in 2017.

Another Nigerian Singer, Tiwa Savage, announced on Twitter she was pulling out of a concert she had planned to perform at in South Africa in September, condemning “the barbaric butchering of her people”. South Africa’s Minister of Social Development Lindiwe Zulu told the BBC the rioters feared losing their jobs to foreigners. The country has become a magnet for migrants from other parts of Africa.