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Xenophobic attack: NLC urges South African Govt. to arrest, prosecute perpetrators

The Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) has asked the South African government to go beyond mere condemnation of recent xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other foreign nationals and take immediate steps to prosecute and sanction individuals and groups responsible for the attacks.

In a statement signed by its president, Ayuba Wabba and made available to journalists in Abuja, the NLC described as mindless, the attacks on foreigners and their businesses in the former apartheid enclave.

The body blamed the government for not doing enough to ease the frustration of the people.

Wabba said the contribution of Nigerians and other Africans towards the defeat of apartheid was informed by the logic of defending civil liberties of all people, creed and race.

 The statement reads: “We never saw it as a debt that a liberated South Africa should pay back to the rest of us. Rather, it was a duty for us to stand against injustice anywhere and anytime.

“The Nigeria Labour Congress affirms that the recent February 2017 Xenophobic attack like previous ones (in 2008 and 2015) are yet another unacceptable and avoidable development. We totally condemn it and call on the South African government to move without further delay to take actions to prevent another occurrence.

“People, especially migrants, refugees and asylum seekers all over the world are and should be welcomed and not made targets of conscienceless attacks. For Africa and South Africa, the pursuit of togetherness, care, warm reception towards and hospitality to others are some of the enduring attributes and the essence of the Ubuntu spirit. It is unacceptable that foreigners, migrants, refugees and asylum seekers are labelled criminals as a justification to subject them to extra-judicial actions.

“NLC considers the South African  government’s condemnation of these recent xenophobic attacks as a positive action. We, however, call on the government to go beyond condemnation to investigate, prosecute and sanction persons, groups or individuals that might have played any role in these mindless attacks on foreigners.

“A conscious approach to accountability will send a firm signal to other potential xenophobes and xenophobia instigators and participators of the consequences that await perpetrators.

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