Xenophobia: Outrage as attacks on Nigerians continues

Nigerians yesterday condemned the Federal Government’s seeming inability to confront the persistent attacks on its citizens in South Africa.

It was learnt that South Africans started fresh attacks, looting and burning of businesses and property belonging to foreigners including Nigerians. In the process, they killed three people, while another one is receiving treatment for smoke inhalation.

The President of the Nigeria Union in South Africa (NUSA), Adetola Olubajo, said yesterday that the attacks began on Sunday morning in Jeppestown area of Johannesburg when a building was set ablaze by an angry mob.

“The mob also looted several shops that were around the vicinity suspected to be owned by foreign nationals. But the police later dispersed the mob and made some arrest,’’ he said in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

“Late in the evening of Sunday, September 1, a group of violent locals suspected to be Zulu hostel dwellers besieged Jules Street in Malvern, Johannesburg, looted and burned shops/businesses.’’\

Olubajo said that information gathered by members of NUSA in Malvern area indicated that over 50 shops were destroyed, looted and burnt over the night.

“Also, some businesses owned by foreign nationals were looted in Germiston on Sunday evening. A Nigerian-owned Internet café and computer accessories business was among the looted shops in Germiston.

“When I got the sad news late Sunday evening, I immediately informed the police in Jeppestown but lots of damage had been done already. The means of livelihood of people were looted and destroyed by fire overnight. The incident has left many Nigerians traumatised.

“Nigerian-owned businesses were seriously affected. A car sales business owned by a Nigerian was among the businesses set ablaze over the night. Although the police said that many people had been arrested in connection with the unnecessary attacks, the looting and burning of foreign-owned businesses continued till Monday morning,’’ he said.

Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, confirmed the latest attacks and the looting of businesses belonging to Nigerians.

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