Nigeria in the wrong (Nigeria South Africa Immigration Saga)

By IndepthAfrica
In Article
Mar 12th, 2012

OUR government has opted for a short-cut diplomatic strategy in its attempt to appease Nigeria.

This after 125 citizens from the West African country were refused entry into South Africa.

They were deported soon after immigration officials at OR Tambo International Airport queried the validity – or lack of – their yellow fever certificates. Such certificates are a normal requirement for international travel.

The move by the immigration officials triggered an unnecessary overreaction by Nigeria. A retaliation committee was set up to plot how to hit back at South Africa. The Nigerian press joined in the unseemly fray. Copious amounts of articles were written about the uncouthness of South Africans.

Some Nigerians went to the extent of suggesting that South Africa had no moral high ground to effect deportations on the basis of yellow fever certificate requirements because of its highest rate of HIV infections in the world. And so the garbage went on in Nigeria against South Africa’s good name.

In addition, many South Africans landing in Abuja and Lagos were deported for no apparent offence. It was a string of unmitigated childish reactions. The whole saga was threatening to soil the otherwise good diplomatic relations between the two countries.

But the decision by the South African government to apologise to Nigeria in a bid to end the crisis is nothing but a knee-jerk response. Why must our good name be sacrificed at the altar of diplomatic expediency?

Will Nigeria apologise for deporting South Africans for no apparent reason?

The South African government may think tendering an apology would normalise relations between the two countries. But it won’t. In fact, the Nigerians will be emboldened. They will feel they have won the bout.

This could have a negative impact on law enforcement in South Africa. Law enforcement agencies at ports of entry might get the wrong message that all foreigners, bar Nigerians, should be subjected to stringent immigration regulations.

This Nigerian exception could spark a quiet domestic resentment against Nigerians who are already battling a negative tag – real or perceived – of being associated with banking scams and drugs trading.

The tension between the two countries requires diplomatic maturity on both sides. They need each other politically and economically.

We urge our government to demand an apology from Nigeria for deporting South Africans and for all the attacks we endured as the furore was unfolding



Ke dumellana le wena Sowetan Editorial 100% agreed!


But what were we expecting from this governing bunch of clowns?

Mar 12, 2012


This must be the first time I truly long for leaders like Pik Botha. He did what he did. He believed in what he did, and he did not apologise for it, no matter how much pressure was put on him. If our immigration officers believed they were following the rule of law, and doing they’re duty, why on earth should an apology have been given? Are we turning into a sorry, sorry nation? Government, make your laws, implement them, and don’t apologise to ANYONE for implementing them.
Mar 12, 2012


How can South African authorities humble themselves before a country like Nigeria but once again anc administration humiliate and embarrasses the country on world stage twice in less than six months, remember that vote in favor of bombing and invading Libya.

Mar 12, 2012


ay nigeria ne!

Mar 12, 2012


My SA has become a prosti.tute, its being chowed from all angles, the Chinese, the British, the Austrians, the Nkandlans and now the Nigerians. We need to join a sex workers union ASAP.

Mar 12, 2012


Nigerians are greedy individuals they wont apologise south africa is a coward country it should have apologised only if investigations revealed that the necessary documents were vailid nxaa

Mar 12, 2012


Will Nigeria apologise for deporting South Africans for no apparent reason?

i dont nigeria will apologise at all, those peeps are not civilized at all. ke ditshwene kaofela.

Mar 12, 2012


Nigerians with their overbloated egos! South Africa is a real tiekieline! Ba cheap and a bana spine! To apologize for enforcing your own laws and regulations?! That’s downright gutless!
I agree with Sowetan on this one!

Mar 12, 2012


i somehow feel theys more to this than just yellow fever vacinations… do you appologies for doing the right thing. so what now? are they going to allow travellers from all over to enter SA without the yellow books now?

mmmmm…whats going on here?

First published by sowetanlive

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