Mayor of Johannesburg Herman Mashaba has said it “was not necessary” for South Africa to apologise to Nigeria for the recent xenophobic attacks.
“No, there is nothing for me to apologise about,” Mashaba said on CNBC Africa’s Political Capital on Tuesday. “What do you expect me to really apologise for?”
Recall, Nigerians and other foreign nationals were attacked earlier in September by irate mobs of South Africans who blamed them for spiking unemployment and drug-related crime rates.
Many non-South African businesses in and around Johannesburg and Pretoria were also vandalised and looted by the mob.
South African president Cyril Ramaphosa apologised for the violence at the weekend in Zimbabwe.
The violence, which claimed the lives of 12 persons, most of whom were South Africans, caused diplomatic rows between the country and her neighbours and Nigeria.
Nigeria, Rwanda, Congo and Malawi boycotted the World Economic Forum meeting held in Cape Town last week as a result.
Botswana told her citizens “travelling to South Africa to exercise extreme caution in light of recent developments resulting in violent unrests.” Zambia also called off a planned football friendly with South Africa.
But Mashaba, the mayor of Africa’s richest city, is unfazed by the violence although he insisted that he was not xenophobic.
His stance mirrors those of former South African deputy police minister Bongani Mkongi, foreign affairs minister Naledi Pandor and former president Thabo Mbeki.