by Azeez Adeniyi
Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has written to the President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, threatening to sue the South African government if it does not stop the xenophobic attacks in the country.
In the latter dated March 9, Falana urged Zuma to order immediate investigation into continued xenophobic attacks in his country.
He asked him to ensure that perpetrators of the attacks are punished.
He argued that it was this failure of the South African government that had emboldened the perpetrators of the xenophobic attacks to continue to kill foreigners and destroy their properties.
He said, “We believe that it is the failure of your government to bring perpetrators to justice and protect the victims of the xenophobic attacks that has resulted in a vicious cycle of attacks and impunity.
“These xenophobic attacks and violence are not only human rights violations but also criminal acts, and the persistent failure to proactively address the problems is a serious affront to the rule of law, and directly breaches your government’s international human rights obligations including under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, particularly Article 12 on the right to movement.
“We therefore urge you to move swiftly to address the debilitating situation by identifying and arresting the perpetrators and bringing them to justice promptly.
“We also urge you to publicly commit to providing access to justice and effective remedy to victims. Effectively prosecuting the perpetrators and providing reparations to victims would serve as a deterrent to future attacks.
“We also urge you to put measures in place to proactively protect non-nationals including Nigerians living in South Africa.”