Falana blasts South African government for justifying xenophobic attacks

[FILE PHOTO] Femi Falana

SERAP seeks $10b compensation for victims
National Chairman, Peoples Alternative Front, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), yesterday berated the South African government for justifying xenophobic attacks.

The human rights lawyer noted that before the recent attacks on African immigrants in South Africa, some highly-placed political figures were inciting the youths of that country against foreign traders.

He also described as unfortunate the statement credited to the Cyril Ramaphosa regime that many Nigerians living in South Africa were drug addicts, while pretending to condemn the attacks.

According to former president of West African Bar Association (WABA), the authorities in Pretoria ought to have arrested, prosecuted and jailed the Nigerians allegedly involved in drug trafficking in South Africa.

Falana said, “No doubt, many Nigerian youths, like their South African counterparts, have embraced drugs out of frustration. But that cannot be a basis for tarnishing the image of all Nigerian immigrants by calling them drug addicts.”

He urged political leaders of Nigeria and South Africa to “address the crises of poverty, inequality, unemployment, corruption and violence caused by the implementation of neo-liberal policies imposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the two largest economies in Africa.”

Meanwhile, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has called on the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) “to urgently submit a case on the escalating xenophobic attacks against Nigerians and other African citizens in South Africa to the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights and to seek an effective remedy and reparation for Nigerian victims.”

In a letter to the ACHPR chairperson, Mrs. Soyata Maiga, SERAP’s deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, said: “These attacks constitute serious violations of the human rights of Nigerians and other African citizens in South Africa.”

SERAP urged ACHPR to “seek in the case to the African Court, punitive damages and adequate compensation of $10 billion on behalf of hundreds of Nigerian victims and their families, for individual harm suffered by victims.”

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