Xenophobia: Nigerian Arrested For Defending Himself- Envoy



By Ogbolu George

Amb. Uche Ajulu Okeke, Nigeria’s Consul-General in South Africa, has described the recent xenophobic attacks against Nigerians and other foreigners in the country as unfortunate.

Okeke, who visited affected homes and businesses, said a pastor was stabbed while another Nigerian was arrested by the South African Police for defending himself.

Speaking with Vanguard’s correspondent on phone, she said: ”The Consulate-General of Nigeria in South Africa went on a fact-finding and direct field assessment of the xenophobic attack sites. Some angry residents attack houses of immigrants in Johannesburg.

”We visited seven locations in Pretoria West. At the first location, a garage, 29 cars, 80 Nigerian passports, welding and painting appliances and a restaurant were burnt while cash totalling R140, 000(N3.36m) were removed,” she added.

Okeke said 12 of the damaged cars belonged to South Africans while the rest were being repaired for sale.

She said a Nigerian, whose home was attacked by the hoodlums, threw his three children all aged below five years over the fence to save them.

”Also, the man disarmed an attacker with a machete but was arrested by the South African police for trying to defend himself,” the envoy stated.

Amb. Okeke said a pastor who was receiving treatment in a hospital was also attacked and stabbed in a church.

The envoy also said she has received information that South Africans were planning to carry out new attacks on Friday and had sent such messages to foreigners and also given the information to the police.

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