South Africa has closed its High Commission in Abuja and the Consulate in Lagos, Nigeria, following reprisal attacks on South Africans in the West African country.
Nigerians and other black African nationals living in South Africa have been under attack from the locals.
The South Africans claim black foreigners have taken over their jobs and, thus, have attacked their businesses and looted their shops in a wave of xenophobic attacks that have received worldwide condemnation.
In response, Nigerians have begun retaliatory attacks on South African businesses in a number of Nigerian cities, forcing telecommunication giant – MTN – to close all its shops and service centres.
In a statement, the Minister of International Relation and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, has expressed her disappointment at having to take the decision to support the closure of the South African High Commission in Abuja and Consulate in Lagos.
Both offices were closed down on Tuesday, 3 September 2019, following concerns reported to the Minister by officials at both missions after threats were made against them.
“After extensive consultations with relevant stakeholders as well as a security assessment of threats, the Mission and the Department took the decision to close the offices,” the statement said.
“No direct physical threat to any of our diplomats and citizens, however, we view their safety as a priority and have, thus, taken the precautionary measure of closing, while the situation remains somewhat unpredictable,” it added.