Four Nigerians are in “critical condition” and many shops have been burnt in fresh attacks on Nigerians living in South Africa.
The fresh attacks by South Africans began Sunday, January 7, Paul Nwanedo, Chairman, Nigerian Union, North West Province chapter, told the News Agency of Nigeria.
Nwanedo disclosed that the South Africans began picking on Nigerians after 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.
He said that investigations by the group found the allegations to be false.
Nwanedo revealed that the taxi drivers relied on the baseless allegations to beat up four Nigerians who were now in critical condition and also set some shops belonging to Nigerians ablaze.
He said the group was worried for the safety of Nigerians in Rustenburg.
“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,” Nwanedo was quoted by NAN as saying.
Confirming the incident, the president of the union, Adetola Olubajo said no Nigerian raped any South African girl and none was arrested for the offence.
He added that the union was worried about the turn of events, as the “lives and property of our citizens in Rustenburg are in danger”.
South African police authorities have condemned the attacks.
North West Provincial police commissioner, Baile Motswenyane was quoted as saying that “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.”