Naledi Pandor, South African minister of foreign affairs, says there are many Nigerians in that country that trade in narcotics and human trafficking.
Pandor said this on Thursday while responding to criticisms that South Africa’s security agencies have not done enough to protect foreigners in the wave of xenophobic attacks rocking the country.
Many Nigerians based in South Africa lost properties worth millions of dollars in the fresh attacks.
But in an interview with eNCA, a South African news news medium, Pandor said South Africans believe many Nigerians are “harming our young people.”
Asked if the country’s security agencies have helped in protecting foreigners including Nigerians, she responded: “I would appreciate them in helping us as well to address the belief our people have and the reality that there are many persons from Nigeria dealing in drugs in our country.
“I believe that Nigerian nationals are involved in human trafficking and other abusive practices.
“These kind of assistance of ensuring that such persons do not come to our country will be of great assistance to our nation.”
The xenophobic attacks forced Nigeria to pull out of the ongoing World Economic Forum in South Africa.
In its initial response to the fresh attacks, the federal government summoned Bobby Monroe, South Africa’s high commissioner to Nigeria.
President Muhammadu Buhari also dispatched a special envoy to convey his concerns over the attacks to President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Nigeria demanded full compensation for its citizens affected in the latest attacks, but Pandor had earlier said there is no provision for such.