One of Nigeria’s revered lawyers, Femi Falana (SAN), has asked the Federal Government to sue the South Africa government and demand compensation for Nigerian victims of the xenophobic attack in the country.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria, in a statement on Wednesday, also asked President Muhammadu Buhari to boycott the ongoing World Economic Forum holding in Capetown.
Falana said that the African National Congress must accept responsibility for the misdirected antagonism against poor African immigrants.
He also asked the Federal Government to direct the Nigerian High Commission in Pretoria to coordinate the legal process.
Falana said “Apart from the official condemnation of the shameful and cowardly attacks the south African government should fish out the culprits and prosecute them.
“In addition to the payment of adequate compensation to all the victims of the mindless attacks the government must teach South Africans about the immense contributions of the people of Cuba and a number of African countries to the struggle waged against apartheid and colonialism in the southern African region”.
Below is the Human Rights Lawyer’s full speech.
“Beyond the condemnation of xenophobic attacks by the federal government
Like its counterpart in Nigeria the political class in South Africa has failed to address the challenge of poverty and inequality confronting the majority of the black people. Even though apartheid was defeated by the people of South Africa over two decades ago the unjust socioeconomic system erected by capitalism has not been dismantled. The crisis has been compounded by wanton corruption and the neo liberal policies of the government. Hence, the South African masses have been denied the dividends of democracy by the African National Congress-led government. In particular, the masses have no access to health, housing, education and employment. Out of sheer frustration, millions of young people in South Africa have decided to subject African immigrants to xenophobic attacks.
The ANC must accept responsibility for the misdirected antagonism against poor African imigrants. Apart from the official condemnation of the shameful and cowardly attacks the South African Government should fish out the culprits and prosecute them. In addition to the payment of adequate compensation to all the victims of the mindless attacks the Government must teach South Africans about the immense contributions of the people of Cuba and a number of African countries to the struggle waged against apartheid and colonialism in the Southern African region.
However, since the Cyril Ramaphosa administration is not likely to accede to the demand for compensation the federal government should brief a team of lawyers to seek legal redress for the victims of the attacks in South African courts. The Nigerian High Commission in Pretoria should be directed to coordinate the legal defence. In view of the regular harrassment of Nigerians in South Africa and a few other African countries the federal government should make the Declaration to enable individual victims of human rights abuse to access the African Court on Human and Peoples Rights sitting in Arusha, Tanzania. Since there is no assurance that Nigerians and other Africans will no longer be subjected to xenophobic attacks the federal government should boycott the World Economic Forum scheduled to commence in South Africa on September 4.”