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South Africans insists foreigners must leave their country; Over 400 Nigerians set to return home

President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa

Following the condemnation of the xenophobic attacks in South Africa, the citizens in a new protest on Sunday insists that foreigners must leave their country.

The armed protesters chanting “foreigners must go back to where they came from” marched to the Jules Park where Mangosuthu Buthelezi, a former leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party, addressed them.

The South African Government had in its response to the attacks on foreigners alleged that it wasn’t xenophobic, but criminals who were looting businesses including those owned by South Africans.

The claim was however vehemently condemned by Catholic Bishops in South Africa. The Bishops had in a conference noted that the attacks were targeted at foreigners and their businesses, adding that the claims by the SA authority were wrong.

Meanwhile, over 400 Nigerians have signed up for evacuation from SA following the attacks.

An indigenous airline, Air Peace, had offered to airlift those willing to return back to Nigeria.

The first set will be returning on Wednesday, 11 September, and more will follow eventually.

Speaking about the incident, Kabiru Bala, the Nigerian High Commissioner to South Africa, noted that Nigerians are responding well and are being issued emergency travel certificates.

“We are documenting them. Those without travel documents, we shall provide them with emergency travel certificates.

“There are other governmental procedures that we must observe. Relevant agencies of government in Nigeria must be informed and must be ready to receive the returnees.

“Hard work is now going on at the High Commission and Consulate in this regard. As soon as all procedures and relevant protocols are observed, the return is assured and guaranteed.

“A little more patience will be helpful. The response of Nigerians is just amazing.’’

Many Nigerians are expected back to the country, including those in jail for certain offences like visa related offences.

Those held for visa offences had been in jail for a very long time. They were refused deportation by the South African authorities, who claim they do not have money to pay for their flight tickets.

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