Nigerians resident in South Africa have been advised to avoid the Pretoria Central
Business District (CBD) until the Police authorities certify the area safe for foreign nationals.
The Nigerian Union in South Africa (NUSA) gave the counsel in the wake of xenophobic
attacks early yesterday following the torching of a shop belonging to a Nigerian in
the business district.
NUSA’s warning came on a day South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa said that his
administration was upset about the protracted killings of Nigerians in the former apartheid enclave.
Ramaphosa spoke in Yokohama, Japan, after holding a bilateral talk with President
Muhammadu Buhari on the sidelines of the ongoing seventh Tokyo International
Conference for Africa Development (TICAD7) in Yokohama, Japan.
According to him, the trend had necessitated the call for a meeting of the leaders of both
countries on how to promptly nip the matter in the bud.
In a statement yesterday, NUSA’s President, Adetola Olubajo said: “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 violent revolt and looting have been fueled 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
According to him, only two Nigerian-owned businesses were identified to be affected
when he issued the statement. The affected stores were identified as Furniture/Electronics
shop on Sisulu Street and Gold Exchange Business on Lillan Ngoyi Street. They were looted
before being set ablaze by the rioters.
He said: “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.”
Ten suspects have been arrested for possession of suspected stolen items, while an additional
seven have been arrested for public violence, the statement added.
Over the years, Nigerians in South Africa have become victims of xenophobic killings by
citizens of their host countries who often unjustifiably accuse them of robbing them of job
opportunities in their own countries.
The killings prompted some Nigerian students to recently stage a range of protests at the
premises of some companies linked to South Africans, threatening to shut them down if the
killings of their fellow citizens in South Africa do not stop
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