South Africa apologises for deporting Nigerians

Nigeria's Foreign Minister Olugbenga Ashiru

The Nigerian authorities on Thursday accepted a letter of apology from the South African government for deporting 125 Nigerians on the 2nd of March saying that they didn’t have the relevant health documents to enter the country.

“We apologise for this unfortunate incident and we hope this matter will not in any way affect our bilateral relations,

“We’ve put into place certain mechanisms to ensure this doesn’t happen again, and we believe that this matter is closed,” the South African deputy foreign minister Ebrahim Ebrahim told reporters in Pretoria.

The diplomatic row began after immigration officials at Johannesburg’s main airport last week refused entry to Nigerians, saying their yellow fever vaccination cards might be fake.

Nigerian authorities reacted angrily to the deportations and retaliated by deporting 131 South African nationals. Senators even threatened to sack all South African companies in the country.

The Nigerian authorities insisted that the health documents demanded by South Africa were unnecessary as the nation is yellow fever free.

The Nigerian Foreign affairs minister Hon. Olugbenga Ashiru said he had accepted the apology, saying a South African envoy was expected soon to formally apologies for the row.

“I will be sending a letter back to my counterpart in South Africa accepting the apology” on behalf of the Nigerian government the Foreign Minister told reporters today in Abuja.

“Thereafter we will move quickly to ensure that we put machinery in place so that it will be a lasting solution, because we don’t want this to happen again because of our bilateral relations,” Ashiru said.

“We felt it was un-African to have deported well over 125 Nigerians in a space of two days,” Ashiru added.

Ashiru had on Tuesday accused the South African authorities of targeting Nigerians.

Nigeria had been certified as free of yellow fever by the World Health Organization, the minister said.

“That is why countries in Europe and the US do not demand yellow fever cards from Nigerian travellers,” he added.

Ebrahim said South African officials had agreed to reopen an airport clinic that would allow travellers to receive yellow fever vaccines on arrival. Immigration officials will also need a foreign ministry official’s consent before turning away large groups of travellers.

The South African government moved quickly to mend the diplomatic row.

“Cabinet expressed shock and regret at the reports regarding how African foreign nationals, particularly Nigerians, and other nationals from other parts of the world have been treated” at Johannesburg’s main airport, minister in the presidency Collins Chabane told reporters in Cape Town earlier Thursday.


  1. Let the biliateral r/ship be stop, after all the sacrifice we’ve done to SA now they’re paying us with humilaiation. I support nig Govt to take drastic measures against S/A by sacking all their companies basing in nigeria and deport all south african nationls back to their coutry, to hell with African brotherhood, its South Africa that is benefiting from Nigeria, LONG LIVE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA.

  2. I dont care about African brotherhood – what has that fetch us? South africa has only a negative economic importance to Nigeria. We spent billions probono to free them from apatheid all they did was give us their vampire companies that had the gut to sell SIM cads to us at more that N30k each when they first arrived. Nonsense.

  3. Ask your self. Does Nigeria worth living in for long? What other Nigerians do to tarnish our image does it not worth the embarrasment we’re receiving from this International stansardized countries? Nigerians, our fake documents too much. Truth be told!

  4. Am sure peaple like MXM are the ones spoiling the image of Nigeria,if not wit all dat we are talking,u can still bring ur gutter mouth to say Nigeria fake document too much,wen was the last time u paid ur tax?yeye man,abeg thank u better pple wey dey talk since

  5. Lets just 4get about the issue and concentrate on ourselves make money online visit this link on ur webpage http// to join

  6. Hurray, Naija can now protect her citizens!!!!!!!!! That is a good one. We need to give value to ourselves. Thank Naija Govt but don’t let it be a one off thing. Meanwhile, my people, let us stay here and build our great Nation. Nobody will do it for us. Where you are running to were built by their citizens. I REST MY CASE.

  7. 2 hell wit d AFRICAN BROTHERHOOD,who are south africans 2 humiliate Nigerians eh….what are they better dan us wit…I suggest nigerian govt 2 sack all their companies in d country so It will bi a lesson 2 dem….2 Hell wit who ever they tink they are.


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