South African Embassy in Lagos, Nigeria, Remains Closed After Attacks

The South African embassy in Lagos, Nigeria, remains temporarily closed after threats led to fears for staff safety, International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor told Reuters. The threats came after attacks this week on foreign-owned businesses in South Afria caused a diplomatic spat.

Crowds look at a burnt police truck as a solider walks out of the scene outside the Novare Shoprite Mall in Lekki, near Lagos, Nigeria. September 3, 2019. REUTERS/Temilade Adelaja

She said South Africa was in constant contact with Nigerian authorities to try to restore calm, adding there was no provision in local law for compensation for damage caused in the attacks.

Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) spokesperson Lunga Ngqengelele said there was no damage to the embassy adding that “we are getting assurances from Nigerian authorities”.

Ngqengelele said the governments of South Africa and Nigeria share cordial relations and “we look forward to strengthen our relations”.


Naledi Pandor looks on as she is sworn in as South Africa’s Minister of International Relations in Pretoria, South Africa, May 30, 2019. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

It was reported that Wednesday’s riots in Nigeria were a response to violent tensions that had been reported in several South African towns, with the alleged killings of Nigerians by South Africans.

Last month Pandor said South Africa is in contact with Nigerian authorities regarding calls by a student organisation in Nigeria for the expulsion of South Africans and protests at South African owned businesses.

Pandor said: “There is an Afrophobia we are sensing that exists, there is resentment and we need to address that.”

Sources: SAnews.gov.za and Reuters