South African government has maintained that it still has cordial relationship with the Nigerian government despite the latter withdrawing its high commissioner in protest against xenophobic violence.
Minister in the presidency, Jeff Radebe yesterday led a media briefing of the inter-ministerial committee that has been set up in the wake of attacks on foreign nationals in the past two weeks.
Radebe pointed out that President Jacob Zuma would attend the inauguration of Nigerian president-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, and that South African companies like MTN, Shoprite, Standard Bank and others still enjoyed investment opportunities in Nigeria.
He also pointed that Nigerian billionaire, Aliko Dangote was building a cement factory in South Africa’s North West Province.
“SA still has very cordial relations with the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” he said.
He also emphasised that South Africa had amicable relations with all the members of the African Union.
The Nigerian government recalled its High Commissioner Martin Cobham and its Consul-General Uche Ajulu-Okeke on Saturday.
On Sunday, Department of International Relations and Co- operation spokesman, Clayson Monyela issued a statement which read: “We are not sure which actions or behaviour of the South African government the Nigerian government is protesting. It is only Nigeria that has taken this unfortunate and regrettable step. If this action is based on the incidents of attacks on foreign nationals in some parts of our country, it would be curious for a sisterly country to want to exploit such a painful episode for whatever agenda.”
In the list of victims of the xenophobic violence provided by Mr Radebe, it shows that of the seven people killed, one was Ethiopian, one was Zimbabwean, one Mozambican, one from Bangladesh, and three were South African.
The list showed that foreigners being repatriated were from Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Tanzania.
Also yesterday, Democratic Alliance international relations and co-operation spokeswoman, Sandy Kalyan issued a statement urging both the SA and Nigerian governments not to strain already delicate relations and to engage constructively with each other on the issues that led to the high commissioner and consul-general of Nigeria being recalled.

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