Xenophobia attacks: Falana threatens legal action against South African govt


Lagos lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), on Thursday asked President Jacob Zuma of South Africa to identify suspected perpetrators of xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other Africans living in that country for prosecution.

The request is contained in a letter he wrote to President Zuma titled: “Request to identify perpetrators of xenophobic attacks against Nigerians, bring them to justice and provide adequate compensation to victims.”

Falana also asked the South African leader to promote and ensure access to justice and the right to effective remedy and reparations to victims.

The lawyer said he would sue the South African government if it fails to stop the xenophobic attacks as requested.

He said, “Take notice that if the xenophobic attacks continue unabated we shall be compelled to drag your government to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights for appropriate legal redress.

“Since 2008, the xenophobic violence and other criminal acts have continued to occur across South Africa claiming lives, displacing tens of thousands of people and leaving countless victims injured and robbing them of their property.

“Although some arrests have reportedly been made, many perpetrators are yet to be brought to justice while the victims continue to be denied access to justice and their internationally recognized right to an effective remedy and reparations.

“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.”

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