This week black South Africans burst on to the streets, savagely attacking and threatening black immigrants from other parts of Africa. Above, rioters in Johannesburg
No fewer than 50 Nigerians have been affected by the xenophobic violence in South Africa, the President of the Nigerian Union in that country said yesterday [April 18]. Mr. Ikechukwu Anyene said efforts were being made by the association to resettle those affected. He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) by phone from Pretoria, South Africa, that the Nigerians were displaced at Jeppes Town, near Johannesburg.
“We met about 300 Nigerians in Jeppes town, near Johannesburg, who fled for their safety and about 50 of them do not have any place to stay,” he said. We are making arrangements with the Nigerian mission in South Africa to get them a place to stay for their safety. “The Nigerian union has also presented relief materials to those affected by the attacks and we are in touch with various branch chapters of the union in the provinces on their safety and security,’’ he said.
According to him, Nigerian shops and businesses in Durban and Johannesburg have been looted and some burnt. He said that two shops belonging to Nigerians in Durban were looted and goods worth 400,000 Rand lost.
“In Jeppes Town, near Johannesburg, five shops were looted and one burnt while the estimated loss is put at One million Rand. “The incidents have been reported to the police and we are still taking stock of attacks on Nigerians,’’ he said.
Mr. Anyene reiterated the union’s call to the Federal Government to put more pressure on the South African government to halt the attacks.
The Nigerian foreign minister had however claimed on Thursday that Nigerians had so far not been attacked, saying it would only evacuate Nigerians only if the situation gets worse. “With the discussions I have been having with Nigeria’s Head of Mission in Pretoria, no Nigerian has so far been affected,” the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Aminu Wali said Thursday in Abuja.
“They informed me that they have called the Nigerian community and addressed them and told them to close their shops, stay home and keep out of trouble and obey the laws of South Africa. They have also confirmed that the South African authority has moved in to take actions that would forestall any further disturbance in South Africa,” Mr. Wali said.
If it gets worse it is the duty of our country to make sure our people are brought back, and we are taking that duty serious. We are not prepared to allow any of our nationals to be subjected to such inhuman treatment. We are monitoring the situation and will now take action according to the situation that develops,” he said.