Bala, who disclosed this while speaking to Channels Television in his office, explained that the crimes range from drug-related offences to murder, fraud and armed robbery.
Noting that the statistics were from the South African Police Service, the envoy said: “We have to look at it from a proper perspective so that we don’t tilt the balance. And then we overlook the fact that some of our nationals engage in things that are not legal here.
“We have 6,089 of them having cases that are being concluded or investigated and some of them in prison, we have them.”
The diplomat, however, explained that the accused persons, whether Nigerians or other nationals, have the right to fair trial before being convicted, if found guilt in line with the laws.
His remark followed a meeting of the heads of Nigeria’s two missions in South Africa in Pretoria, on the country’s crime statistics as it is related to Nigerian citizens.
Present were the Police Minister Bheki Cele and top police officials.
Bala, who was accompanied by the Consul-General, Godwin Adama, to the meeting, said the figures were quite shocking.