Xenophobia again? South African gang raid Nigerian shops

XenophobiaNo fewer than 10 Nigerians are now hospitalised while 25 shops owned by Nigerians have been looted following attacks by organised gangs in South Africa.

The President of the Nigerian Union in South Africa, Mr Ikechukwu Anyene, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on phone from Pretoria, Friday, that the attack began last week in Johannesburg and later spread to Pretoria this week.

He said commercial taxi drivers led the attack against Nigerians in Pretoria while unknown gangs attacked Nigerians in Johannesburg.

 Anyene said one Nigerian in hospital was still in coma when officials of the Union and the Nigerian High Commission in South Africa visited the injured in hospitals.

“Officials of Nigerian mission in South Africa and Union officers went round today to assess the extent of damage done to business centres and shops owned by Nigerians.

“In Pretoria, 25 shops belonging to Nigerians were attacked and looted by the gang. 10 Nigerians are now receiving treatment in some hospitals while one of them is still in coma”, he said.

Anyene said the gang alleged that Nigerians were selling drugs to South Africans and used the opportunity to attack and loot their shops.

“We have reported the incident to the police in the central business district of Pretoria, where the bulk of the attacks took place.

“The South African police have made entry on our report and pledged to investigate the attacks.

“We have also appealed to our people (Nigerians) to be calm and law abiding because the Union and the Nigerian mission were handling the situation.

“As we speak, we have not recorded any attack today, April 4, and everywhere is calm,’’ Anyene said.

The President said the Nigerian mission in South Africa has also pledged to take up the matter with South African authorities.

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