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Thursday, May 30, 2013

South Africans chase 23 Nigerian Residents out of their Residence

No fewer than 23 Nigerians were forced out of
their homes and chased out of Port-Nolloth
community by some South Africans members of
the community, accusing them of dealing in
drugs.
According to Diliora Ndubisi, the spokesman of
Nigerians, the leaders of the African National
Congress (ANC) Youth League in the area
instigated some community members to force
them out of their homes.
"All the members of the community had a
meeting on Friday on the need to curb the selling
and usage of drugs in the community. On
Saturday a teenager committed suicide in a
police custody and by Sunday some members of
the community led by the ANC Youth League
leader came to our houses asking us to leave the
community.
"They said we are the ones selling drugs to their
children. They destroyed and looted our property
and one Nigerian was seriously beaten and is on
admission in a hospital in Johannesburg now,"
Ndubisi said.
He said that the attack, which targeted Nigerians
only, can be attributed to envy and jealousy
about the success of Nigerian businesses in the
community amidst poverty and unemployment
among South Africans living in the community.
Reacting to the attack, the Nigerian Consulate in
Johanneburg, South Africa today criticised what it
described as the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians
living in the country.
Mr. Okey Emuchay, the Consulate-General of
Nigeria in Johannesburg, said in Springbok, in the
Northern Province of South Africa, that labelling
all Nigerians in the country as drug dealers was
"unacceptable."
Emuchay said that it was the duty of the South
African police to provide safety for South Africans
and foreigners living in the country.
"We are not asking for too much from the South
African government, it is the duty of the South
African police to provide safety and security for
every one living in South Africa.
"The Nigerian government will not send the
Nigerian police to come and protect our nationals
just like the South African government will not
send her police to protect South Africans living
and working in Nigeria.
"In as much as we will not encourage our
nationals to engage in criminal activities, it is not
acceptable to us that some people should label
all Nigerians as drug dealers.
"If any Nigerian is caught dealing in drugs he/she
should be arrested and prosecuted. But a
situation where some people will act on rumours,
attacking and harassing Nigerians will be totally
resisted by us. If anybody has any information
about any Nigerian dealing in drugs, such
information should be given to the police to
investigate and arrest those involved. It is the
duty of the police to investigate, arrest and
prosecute, and not the duty of any individual or
group of persons to do the work of the police.
"In this case no arrest has been made, no
prosecution and no sentencing of anybody, only
some members of the community taking the laws
into their hands and forcing out Nigerians from
houses where they pay rent, sending them into
the streets in this winter period," Emuchay said.
The Consul-General said that the safety of the
displaced Nigerians was the responsibility of the
police.
"This is coming barely three weeks after
President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria paid a
state visit to South Africa, after a similar one-day
official working visit by President Jacob Zuma to
Nigeria.
"Nine MoU agreement were signed during the
state visit to promote trade and investments
between the two countries.
"If governments at the top level is working
together to strengthen relations between the two
countries, the people of the two countries should
be encouraged to take full advantage of the
bilateral cooperation in various ways, including
business culture and interpersonal relations.
Nigeria and South Africa have had a long history
of friendship and cordial relationship and
everything should be done in sustaining the
relationship," Emuchay said.
Ikechukwu Anyene, President of the Nigerian
Union in South Africa (NUSA), commended the
proactive step taken by the Consulate.
"I must on behalf of all Nigerians living in South
Africa thank the Consul-General for the proactive
steps he has taken so far in this xenophobia
attack on Nigerians living here.
Brig.-Gen. Francis Hender, South Africa Police
Service (SAPS), Cluster Commander, assured that
no individual or group would be allowed to
perform the duty of the police.
"I will go to Port-Nolloth personally to assess the
situation there, and a team of crime investigators
will be assigned to investigate the cause of the
attack on Nigerians and the lady mentioned
would be invited for questioning. She is not a
police officer and cannot be allowed to get away
with her actions," Hender said.
Lebogang Abrans, ANC Regional Secretary,
apologised to the Nigerian envoy on the attack
and said there was need to engage with the
community on how to allow the displaced
Nigerians return to their homes.

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