A South African envoy to President Cyril Ramaphosa has apologised “profusely” to the Nigerian government after a spate of deadly xenophobic attacks rocked Johannesburg and Pretoria.
At least 12 people were killed in recent weeks after one thousand foreign-owned businesses were targeted.
The violence prompted reprisal attacks against South African firms in Nigeria and the temporary closure of South Africa’s diplomatic missions in Lagos and Abuja.
It also sparked an international outcry and calls for a boycott of South Africa.
Following the violence, Nigeria announced it has repatriated more than 600 nationals to protect them from future violence. Besides the hundreds of Nigerians returning to their home country, more than 700 people from other countries, including Malawi and Zimbabwe, sought refuge in South African community centres.