Four members of the Nigerian community in South Africa are currently fighting for their lives after an attack by South Africans.
Chairman of the Nigerian Union, North West Province chapter, Paul Nwanedo told NAN that the attacks on Nigerians began on Sunday with a few shops being burnt and Nigerians brutally beaten.
The attacks began when taxi drivers in Rustenburg claimed that a Nigerian kidnapped and raped a 16-year-old South African girl. They also claimed Nigerians had been selling drugs and had sold some to a local gang which led to an aggravated assault on them.
Nwanedo denied the allegations stating that investigations have been carried out and it was found that there was no truth to the stories told by the taxi drivers who have sent four Nigerians to the hospital.
“This is absolutely untrue. We have investigated and found out that the allegations are false. The union is worried about the safety of our members in Rustenburg,” he said.
“As I speak to you, we are afraid because the attacks have continued and our members are still in hiding.
“We have reported to the police and our national secretariat. We want the safety of lives and property of our people,” he said.
Also speaking on the issue is the president of the union who reiterated that no South African had been abducted and raped by Nigerians. He explained that the attacks have now been reported to the national secretariat.
He said: “Investigation by the union shows that no Nigerians abducted or raped a South African girl. Indeed, no Nigerian has been arrested for the offence and we are worried about the turn of events.
“The lives and property of our citizens in Rustenburg are in danger and there is an urgent need for intervention. We appeal to our mission and Federal government to intervene urgently and save the situation,” Olubajo said.
North West Provincial police commissioner, BaileMotswenyane encouraged the general public to be vigilant and be of help to the local authorities so that the perpetuators of such violent acts can be fished out.
“Those who are doing this must know that they are committing a crime and drastic action will be taken, including against our own members who are involved in criminal activities,” he said.
The Nigerian community in South Africa says four members are in critical condition in the hospital while some shops have been burnt in renewed attacks by South Africans.
Paul Nwanedo, chairman, Nigerian Union, North West Province chapter, told NAN that the attacks against Nigerians began on Sunday.
He said taxi drivers in Rustenburg alleged that a Nigerian abducted and raped a 16-year-old South African girl and also claimed that Nigerians sold drugs to a local gang that attacked their members.
SabataMokgwabone, police spokesman in Rustenburg, said the reasons for the violent protest was unclear but confirmed that “the burnt houses are those occupied by foreign nationals”.