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South Africa: Nigerian, Foreign-Owned Businesses Attacked In New Wave Of Xenophobia


The Nigeria Union has advised Nigerians leaving in South
Africa to avoid Pretoria Central Business District (CBD) until the
Police Authority certify the area safe for foreign nationals.

The
Nigerian Union in South Africa (NUSA) gave the advice in the wake of
Xenophobic attacks early Wednesday morning in that country.

“Violent
looting and burning of foreign-owned businesses started in the early
hours of today, Aug. 28, at the Pretoria CBD. The foreign-owned shops
and offices were targeted by angry taxi driver rioters, the President of
NUSA, Adetola Olubajo said in a statement.

“The violent revolt
and looting have been fuelled by the death of a taxi driver allegedly by
Tanzania nationals on Tuesday at Pretoria CBD.“Not less than two
buildings were burnt by the angry mob. This was done after the stocks in
the various shops were looted by the rioters.

“The situation was
very volatile this morning but the joint efforts of South African Metro
Police and South African Police Service members helped to curb the
violent looting and attacks, although the situation is still tensed at
the area as several roads were blocked for motorists.’’

He said
as at the time he sent the statement, only two Nigerian-owned businesses
were identified to be affected, — furniture/electronics shop on Sisulu
Street and Gold Exchange Business on Lillan Ngoyi Street were looted and
burnt.

“Information reaching us is that some foreign-owned businesses have been marked to be attacked over the night.

“The
marked foreign-owned businesses include a Nigerian-owned Private
Clinic, Nigerian-owned Motor spares shop and a Nigerian Church among
others.

“The Nigeria High Commission in Pretoria has been
informed of the planned overnight attacks and looting of foreign
nationals businesses.

“We strongly advised Nigerians to avoid
Pretoria CBD until the South African Police Authority has certified the
area safe for foreign nationals,’’ Olubajo said.

Meanwhile, in a
joint statement issued from the offices of Gauteng MEC for Public
Transport and Roads Infrastructure, Gauteng Provincial Commissioner and
Taxi Industry in Tshwane, said it was engaging with the taxi industry
following the fatal shooting of a taxi operator in the Pretoria CBD.

“Gauteng
Public Transport and Roads Infrastructure MEC, Jacob Mamabolo, together
with the Provincial Commissioner of Police, Lt.-Gen. Elias Mawela on
Wednesday engaged with the City of Tshwane as well as representatives of
the taxi industry in Tshwane.

“This followed an incident on
Tuesday afternoon where a taxi operator was fatally shot near the Bloed
Long-Distance Taxi Rank in Pretoria.

“The taxi industry
representatives tabled their concerns and raised what both the MEC and
Provincial Commissioner believe are genuine concerns, which require
urgent attention to ensure safety and security within the space in which
they operate.

“The South African Police Service and the Tshwane
Metro Police Department have since intensified deployments and will
maintain a presence in the CBD to ensure that no further incidents of
criminality recur,’’ the statement said.

In the meantime, 10
suspects have been arrested for possession of suspected stolen property,
while an additional seven 7 have been arrested for public violence, the
statement added.

According to the statement, the taxi industry
representatives have distanced themselves from the incidents of looting
that took place in the Pretoria CBD, and have reiterated on behalf of
their operators that there was no aggression on their part.

“We
had planned for a demonstration to highlight some of our issues with the
shooting of one of us, and we believe some criminal elements took
advantage and exploited our plan to advance their criminal intent,’’ it
quoted Mr Mack Makata of SANTACO as saying.

It also said that
Lt,-Gen. Elias Mawela made a commitment that police would look into the
allegations and assured the taxi industry that feedback would be given
in a short space of time so that the suspect could be found and taken to
task



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Last Updated: August 29, 2019

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