John Mahama who spoke to journalists shortly after a day’s visit to Nigeria yesterday described as, ‘very regrettable, the attacks by South African youths on other African citizens living in their country.
“I think that the government must sit up and must take strong action and those that have been involved in these atrocities must be brought to book and must be punished serving as a deterrent so it does not happen in future,” he said.
While recalling the contributions of African countries to liberate South Africa from apartheid, especially those considered as ‘frontline states’, Mahama said it is regrettable that the same people who fought against apartheid are being attacked.
“I think it is an issue that we are all worried about because of the specific circumstances of South Africa and its most regrettable and most unfortunate, I think that the young people of South Africa do not know what happened before they gained their freedom, the whole of this continent stood behind South Africa, the whole of Africa stood behind South Africa to fight against apartheid.
“I remember all of us who growing up as secondary school children went on marches and as part of the African Youth command boycotted classes and all that in the fight against apartheid.
“Indeed, for several of the countries whose citizens were brutalised in South Africa, these are countries that were called front-line states and harboured the freedom fighters of South Africa and gave them safe haven, gave them passports to be able to avoid the clutches of the apartheid regime and even Nigeria.
“It is regrettable that the same people who fought against apartheid are being attacked. The pictures we have seen are horrible, As Ecowas we have issued a statement condemning what is happening. The unfortunate thing is this is not the first time, it keeps flaring up and so while we are condemning this incidence, we must work with South African government to ensure that it won’t happen again. We are trying to create an integrated continent where our people can move freely amongst our countries.
“This has not set a very good example for integration and especially for South Africa that has investments all over countries.”]]>