Patricia Ngwenya – South Africa
President Muhammadu Buhari will discuss trade ties and political cooperation with President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, today Thursday 3rd October.
Buhari’s meeting with the South African government will hold at the Union buildings, Pretoria, by 2:30p.m.
Muhammadu Buhari arrived South Africa on Wednesday for a state visit after an outburst of xenophobic violence in and around Johannesburg stirred tensions between Africa’s leading economic powerhouses.
But the recent violence in SA targeting foreigners — including Nigerians — threatens to dominate the talks.
Buhari was met by SA’s Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor after his arrival at the Waterkloof military base, near the South African capital Pretoria.
The three-day state visit, the first by a Nigerian leader since 2013, was planned before mobs descended on foreign-owned properties in and around Johannesburg in early September.
The violence — in which at least 12 people were killed — sparked fury in Nigeria and saw hundreds of migrant workers repatriated to the country.
Some South African businesses in Nigeria were forced to close shop temporarily after they were targeted by revenge attacks.
The two governments dispatched special envoys to each other’s capitals as Pretoria offered “sincere apologies” in a bid to calm the anger.
The presidency in Abuja said Buhari would use the state visit to discuss the “welfare of Nigerians, and find common grounds for building harmonious relations with their hosts”.
He will hold a “town hall meeting” with Nigerians living in SA to listen to their experiences and show the government is working to protect them.
Buhari is expected to urge Ramaphosa to pay reparations for the Nigerians affected by the violence but the South African authorities look set to reject those demands.