President Cyril Ramaphosa has faced tough questions in Abuja on the purported attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.

At a conference of the African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim Bank) where Ramaphosa delivered the keynote address, he was put on the spot to respond to an accusation that the South African government has been nonchalant about what some say are growing attacks on Nigerian citizens here on home soil.

During a discussion around intra-Africa trade, a Nigerian investor questioned whether South Africa is doing enough to protect Nigerians working in the country.

“I, as an investor, would not want to come into a country where the safety of my staff is not guaranteed.”

Ramaphosa responded by saying that South Africa acts harshly against xenophobia in general.

“We will not support anyone, in fact, we’ll act against anyone who seeks to attack anybody on the basis of their race, origin or the way they look.”

The purported attacks on Nigerians in South Africa have become a point of contention in relations between Abuja and Pretoria.

The issue was discussed when Ramaphosa met with his Nigerian counterpart Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday afternoon.