Naledi Pandor says Nigeria needs to help address the belief that its countrymen are involved in criminal activities.
JOHANNESBURG - International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor is throwing the ball back in Nigeria's court.
That's after the West African Nation criticised the treatment of its expatriates in South Africa.
Foreign nationals have been targeted by protesters in looting and violent attacks.
Pandor says Nigeria needs to help address the belief that its countrymen are involved in criminal activities.
The minister said government was aware of a resentment-driven "Afrophobia" and was working to restore calm.
South Africa was also in constant contact with Nigerian authorities.
"There is a targeting of Africans from other parts of Africa, we can't deny that," she said.
"But, there is also criminality ... because a lot of this is accompanied by theft," she said, describing the attacks as a complex phenomenon whose root causes were not easy to define.
At least seven people have been killed this week in attacks on foreigners in South Africa.
In Abuja, Nigeria's Information Minister Lai Mohammed said it was recalling its High Commissioner to South Africa.
- Additional reporting Reuters