It instead heard from its own diplomats over a period of four days that the incident was “quite serious and tragic”. But Department of International Relations and Co-operation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane refused to point fingers or raise doubts about the strength of the diplomatic ties between the two countries when she spoke to journalists on Wednesday afternoon.
“It’s un-South-African to get into finger-pointing at a time where we’re dealing with a tragedy,” she said. Nkoana-Mashabane also refused to entertain the reports that Nigerian authorities were denying that South Africans had died in the incident.
She said the government had worked with the travel agents who processed the travel plans of those South Africans travelling to Nigeria including the passports that South African officials could get access to. This meant that the announced number of South African deaths was based “on information at hand” She explained.