The Nigerian Community in South Africa on Sunday urged its members to adopt safety measures ahead of a planned protest against foreigners by South Africans.
A leaflet circulated on Sunday tagged “ Mogale City Monday Shut Down” said that there would be a protest against crime, drugs and human trafficking in Krugersdorp on Monday.
The leaflet read “ lets unite and reclaim our city from crime, drugs and human trafficking. Clean Krugersdorp, No one goes to work, No child goes to school, No transport allowed to move,”.
Mr Adetola Olubajo, the President of Nigerian Union, South Africa, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the telephone from Pretoria, that criminal elements could take advantage of the protest to cause trouble.
“ We call on our people to stay away from the areas as criminal elements within the community will take advantage of the protest.
“ We implore the organisers of the planned protest to do it within the ambit of the law and be very vigilant of criminal elements that may take advantage of the march to loot, destroy property and shops of foreigners,” he said.
Olubajo said that the union had zero tolerance for crime because it affects everybody in the society.
“ Those engaging in drug peddling and child prostitution, and those attacking foreign nationals and looting their property are all perpetrating crime,” he said.
The president urged the police to be proactive adding that prompt response would assist the people.
“ The host government at the highest level should swiftly intervene to avoid further loss of lives and property,” Olubajo said.
Shops and houses owned by Nigerians have been burned in Rustenburg, North West Province of South Africa and Krugersdorp, near Johannesburg by Taxi Drivers.
The drivers alleged that Nigerians sold drugs to a gang that attacked their members and that a Nigerian abducted and raped a 16-year-old South African girl.
The union denied the allegations saying that no Nigerian had been arrested for rape or drug offence.
The union said that it carried out investigation and found the allegations to be spurious.