‘I can’t feed my family’: Uncertain present & future as Nigerians leave SA after xenophobic violence

Nigerian nationals are being repatriated this week following a wave of xenophobic violence in South Africa. Families boarded buses in Johannesburg on Wednesday September 11, 2019. Image: Alon Skuy/TimesLIVE

Busloads of Nigerians said their final goodbyes to South Africa on Wednesday morning.Despite staring poverty in the face, four busloads of people who had been confronted with violence in Johannesburg left from the Nigerian Consulate to begin the trip of approximately 7,000km to Nigeria.

Ben Okoli from the Nigerian Citizen Association South Africa (Nicasa) said most of the foreign nationals who occupied the buses had owned shops and businesses for several years in South Africa.Okoli said they expressed a desire to leave after several threats to their lives, and insecurity about their safety.“Their means of livelihood have been completed destroyed.

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