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SERAP urges the African Commission to sue South Africa for $10bn

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project also known as SERAP has recommended the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to urgently submit a case on the increase xenophobic attacks against Nigerians and other African nationals in South Africa to the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

The organization, in an open letter to the Chairperson of the regional body, Mrs. Soyata Maiga, is also pushing for compensation of $10 billion on behalf of hundreds of Nigerian victims and their families.

In their words;

“For the sake of the victims, the commission should move swiftly on the matter to prevent further harm to Nigerians and other foreign nationals in the country. Unlike for individuals and NGOs, the African Court Protocol does not require Nigeria to have made the declaration under Article 34(6) for the commission to submit a case on behalf of the Nigerian victims before the Court.

“If the commission does not pursue a case for compensation for victims, the Nigerian government may compel it to do so before the court. The call for an effective remedy and reparation for the victims of xenophobic attacks and violence is overwhelming, and comes from direct victims and their families, from the Nigerian government and the leadership of Nigeria’s National Assembly.

“Pursuing the case before the African Court and seeking adequate compensation in the sum of $10 billion would help to ensure justice to the victims and deter South African authorities and high-ranking public officials who incite hatred, violence, and discrimination.

“Pushing for payment of $10 billion (USD) compensation for Nigerian victims of xenophobic attacks and violence can demonstrate that the days of impunity for these crimes are gone.

“This would also ensure the effective implementation of the commission’s Resolution ACHPR/Res.131 (XXXIII) and Resolution ACHPR/Res.304 (LVI) as well as its press statements of 2017 and 4 April 2019, which expressed grave concern over xenophobic attacks that took place in 2008, 2015, 2017 and 2019 respectively.

“Every African citizen in South Africa is guaranteed the rights to life and human dignity no matter their nationality or migration status. The commission should call on high-ranking political leaders in South Africa to immediately end public statements, which amount to advocacy of hatred or incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence.

“The commission should consider the xenophobic attacks as amounting to serious and widespread violations of human rights of Nigerians in South Africa. The lack of accountability and adequate compensation for the xenophobic attacks and violence committed against Nigerians in South Africa for many years has fostered a sense that there are no consequences for violence.

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