Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffery Onyeama     Photo: Anthony Alabi/JAU/BJO/NAN

By Victor Ernest

The comments attributed to South Africa’s Deputy Police Minister, Bongani Mkongi, can rekindle xenophobic attacks, Nigeria Union in South Africa has said.

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Mkongi was quoted to have said: ”How can a city in South Africa be 80 percent foreign national? That is dangerous. South Africans have surrendered their own city to the foreigners.”

He made the comments while reacting to the problem of hijacked buildings in Johannesburg.

But Ikechukwu Anyene, the President of the union, said in a telephone interview with NAN that such comments could cause another round of xenophobic attacks.

He, however, noted that the minister did not specify the particular foreign nationals, but Nigerians had suffered from previous attacks in the country.

Unfortunate

”It is unfortunate that a minister and indeed a top government official could make such utterances, especially in this period of heightened tension, a time we have been having challenges caused by xenophobic attack.

”These are the kind of utterances that goad people to burn properties.

”We, however, believe that this is not the official position of the South African government. We believe that it is his personal opinion,” he said.