Hundreds of Nigerians leave South Africa after xenophobic attacks


These are some of the faces of the Nigerians returning home.

More than 600 have signed up to take free flights back to Nigeria from South Africa

Following a spate of xenophobic attacks on foreigners.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) NIGERIAN RESIDENT, VICTOR ISAH SAYING:

"Yeah, I'm happy anyway, because I'm going to me home, yeah. Despite the fact I couldn't accomplish my mission here but I got to go so it's better for me to go home alive than being a dead man."

Deadly riots last week in Pretoria and Johannesburg, which targeted foreign-owned businesses, left at least 12 people dead.

This Nigerian entrepreneur's entire car dealership was destroyed.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) RABA RABA AUTOSPACE CAR DEALERSHIP OWNER, BASIL ONUIGBO, SAYING:

"On Sunday, I didn't come to the shop because I was very scared. Even my fellow colleague they never come to the shop. Then on Monday, we come here, we see that all is damaged. There's no brotherly love there."

It's not the first time South Africa has witnessed xenophobic violence.

And while the root causes of the latest attacks are unclear, analysts suggest high unemployment and grinding poverty are fueling criminality.

The flare-up in violence has caused a diplomatic dispute between Africa's top two economies.

And retaliatory attacks in Nigeria forced South African businesses there to shut down for several days.

President Muhammadu Buhari will visit South Africa next month to address the attacks and seek a solution.