A Nigerian pastor living in South Africa has apologised to South Africans for “criminal elements among Nigerians.”
Pastor Segun Olanipekun was speaking at a Nig-SA Unity Forum event in Midrand on Wednesday.
According to SowetanLIVE, the Forum has been established by both Nigerian and South African nationals to promote dialogue against xenophobia.
Pastor Olanipekun is one of its leaders. Members include religious leaders, academics, business people and civil society organisations.
Olanipekun apologised for the wrongdoings some of his countrymen allegedly engage in.
Our apology to South Africans is unequivocal. What some the members of the South African community have been complaining about – the criminal elements among Nigerians – we apologise for that.Pastor Segun Olanipekun
He said the Forum will help to bring an end to criminality perpetrated by some foreign nationals.
Olanipekun added that the Forum’s dialogues will encourage honesty in a bid to address the core issues.
South Africa’s apology
During the funeral service for the late Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe, President Cyril Ramaphosa apologised to African countries for the recent spate of xenophobic unrest.
He subsequently dispatched special envoys, led by former minister Jeff Radebe, to several African countries to convey South Africa’s apology.
Although Ramaphosa’s apology was widely welcomed across Africa, it has faced some criticism at home.
Among the critics is Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba, who recently said he has no reason to say sorry.
Personally, as Herman Mashaba I see no reason why I have to apologise. In fact for me as Herman Mashaba, I believe that a lot of people who have an agenda to collapse this country should apologise to me.Herman Mashaba
He maintained that many foreign nationals are engaged in criminality, including selling counterfeit goods and thereby causing unemployment in the country.