The Nigeria union has advised Nigerians living in South Africa to avoid Pretoria central business district (CBD) until the police authority certifies the area safe for foreign nationals.
Adetola Olubajo, president of the Nigerian union in South Africa (NUSA), gave the advice in the wake of Xenophobic attacks on Wednesday morning in the country.
Olubajo said the attacks were as a result of the killing of a taxi driver alleged to have been committed by a Tanzanian.
He said as of 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.
“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,” 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.
“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.”
Speaking with journalists after holding bilateral talks with President Muhammadu Buhari in Yokohama, Japan, Cyril Ramaphosa, president of South Africa, expressed regret over the killings of Nigerians in the country.
He said the country is not in support of the killings, saying nobody deserves being killed.
“Well, we are going to be discussing all that because we have very good relations. We’ll talk about the issue of Nigerians who are dying in South Africa,” Ramaphosa said.
“We feel very upset about that. We don’t support killings. Nobody should ever be killed, but it’s also good to use this opportunity here in Japan to renew the bond between us, to talk about common things between South Africa and Nigeria.
“We know we have to play key roles in the overall development of our countries.”
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