Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja, with agency report
The death toll of Nigerians killed in South Africa has continued to rise, with another two being the latest victims in ongoing xenophobic attacks on foreigners in that country.
The latest victims were stabbed to death during xenophobic attacks in Johannesburg and Cape Town on April 5 and 6, respectively.
Assistant Public Relations Officer, Nigeria Union in South Africa, Mr. Odefa Ikele, confirmed the killings in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria from Johannesburg, yesterday.
”The Nigerian community lost two citizens to gruesome murders over the weekend. Mr. Bonny Iwuoha, 48, from Ihitte/Uboma in Imo State, was stabbed to death at about 11:45 p.m. on April 6, in Johannesburg South.
“We gathered that his assailants followed him from 152 Hay Street Turffontein, and thereafter, stabbed and killed him in front of his gate at Turf Road, Turffontein.
“The killing was witnessed by Mr. Izochukwu Nwokocha, also known as Nwa Father,” he said.
Ikele said the killing had been reported and a case of murder opened at Booysens Police Station in Johannesburg South.
He said another Nigerian, Goziem Akpenyi, also lost his life in similar circumstances on April 5.
“Akpenyi was allegedly stabbed to death by three unknown coloured South African men after an argument with the deceased.
The incident took place at Bellville Stadium parking lot in Cape Town at about 1 p.m. on Friday, April 5, 2019.
“These latest killings adds to four other Nigerians who were shot dead in March.
“Three of the victims were murdered in Sunnyside, Pretoria; and one in Balfour Park, Johannesburg,” he said.
Meanwhile, South African acting High Commissioner to Nigeria, Bobby Moroe, has condemned xenophobic attacks in his country.
Moroe, in response to repeated xenophobic attacks in South Africa, said the attacks defied South African values of respect for human life, human rights, human dignity and Ubuntu.
The envoy further said South Africa stood firmly against all intolerances such as racism, xenophobia, homophobia and sexism.
“No amount of frustration or anger can ever justify the attacks on foreign nationals and the looting of their shops.
“We condemn the violence in the strongest possible terms. The attacks violate all the values that South Africa embodies, especially the respect for human life, human rights, human dignity and Ubuntu,” Monroe said.
While wishing those injured during the recent attack speedy recovery, Monroe, on behalf of the South African Government, appealed for calm and end to the violence, amid restraint.
Monroe further said any problems or issues of concern to South African citizens must be resolved peacefully through dialogue.
The police, Monroe disclosed, have been directed to work round the clock to protect foreign nationals and citizens and to arrest looters and those committing acts of violence.
“We urge communities to assist the police by providing information on the incidents that have taken place so that the perpetrators can be brought to justice.
“While we strongly condemn the attacks, we are aware of, and are sympathetic to some of the issues that have been raised by affected South African citizens.
“We reiterate our view that South Africans are generally not xenophobic. If they were, we would not have such a high number of foreign nationals who have been successfully integrated into communities all over the country, in towns, cities, and villages,” Munroe added.
Munroe further said socio-economic issues raised were being attended to, which included complaints about illegal and undocumented immigrants in the country, increase in the number of shops or small businesses that have been taken over by foreign nationals and also, perceptions that foreign nationals commit or perpetrate crime.
“We wish to emphasise that while some foreign nationals have been arrested for various crimes, it is misleading and wrong to label or regard all foreign nationals as being involved in crime in the country,” the envoy also said.