Baring any last minute changes, President Muhammadu Buhari will visit South Africa in what is regarded as a state visit to South Africa in October. This was made public by the South African presidency on Saturday. This is coming amidst renewed spate of xenophobic violence in Johannesburg which caused tensions between the countries.
South Africa’s financial capital and surrounding areas were rocked by a surge of deadly attacks against foreigners this week. Many of the violence was directed against Nigerian-owned businesses and properties.
The violence prompted reprisal attacks against South African firms in Nigeria and the temporary closing of South Africa’s diplomatic mission in Lagos and Abuja.
At least 10 people were killed in the violence and hundreds of shops destroyed.
Buhari’s visit is meant to “reinforce the strong bonds between the two countries and jointly develop responses to challenges affecting people and businesses in South Africa and Nigeria”, said South Africa’s presidency in a statement.
Foreign workers are often victims of anti-immigrant sentiment in South Africa — the continent’s second biggest economy after Nigeria — where they compete against locals for jobs, particularly in low-skilled industries.
More than 420 people have been arrested since the violence flared up on Sunday.