South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has sent high-ranking emissaries to several African countries to assure them that their citizens are welcome in his country, despite the wave of xenophobic violence earlier this month.
The mission, led by former Minister Jeff Radeba, left South Africa on Saturday and is scheduled to visit Nigeria, Niger, Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia, the president announced on Sunday.
Hundreds of economic migrants from neighbouring Zimbabwe and Mozambique had fled from South Africa recently while Nigeria air lifted 600 of its citizens back home after they were targeted in the violence.
It would be recalled that Ramaphosa was jeered at on Saturday during his speech at Zimbabwe ex-leader Robert Mugabe’s funeral in Harare before he apologised for the attacks.
“I stand before you as a fellow African to express my regret and apologise for what has happened in our country,” Ramaphosa said at the state funeral.
His comments were met with cheers and blasts of air horns from the crowd
South Africa, the continent’s second largest economy, is a major destination for other African migrants. But they are often targeted by some locals who blame them for a lack of jobs.