There reports of fresh xenophobic attacks on Nigerians living in South Africa. The Nigerian Community in South Africa confirmed these attacks and looting of Nigerian-owned businesses in Pretoria West on Saturday.
Mr Ikechukwu Anyene, President, Nigeria Union, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on telephone from Pretoria, South Africa, that the attacks began at 4.00 a.m.
He said that the union had reported the incident to the Nigeria mission and South African police.
“As we speak, five buildings with Nigerian businesses, including a church have been looted and burned by South Africans.
“One of the buildings is a mechanic garage with 28 cars under repairs, with other vital documents, were burned during the attack.
“Also, the pastor of the church was wounded and is in the hospital receiving treatment,” he said.
Anyene said the union had informed Nigerians in South Africa to be vigilant in the face of renewed xenophobic attacks.
According to him, the union received information that there will be xenophobic attacks against foreigners on Feb. 22 and Feb. 23.
“We began taking precautionary measures when the incident took place today.
“The attack in Pretoria West is purely xenophobic and criminal because they loot the shops and homes before burning them,” he said.
Anyene called on the Federal Government to persuade its South African counterpart to protect Nigerians in their country.
“These attacks should not be allowed to continue because it is a big setback,” he said.
In 2015, xenophobic attacks started in Durban and extended to some parts of Johannesburg.
Some unemployed South Africans were of the view that other African nationals had taken up their jobs and so decided to attack them so they would return to their homelands.
This was believed to have been sparked by an alleged statement by the Zulu King asking all foreigners to go back to their countries and leave South Africa jobs for the unemployed youth of South Africa.
Nigerians counted several losses in that attack. The then Nigerian Consul-General to South Africa Uche Ajulu-Okeke said: “Nigerians have compiled damages to their property and it is totalling about 1.2 million Rand or N21 million, which will be sent to the Federal Government for further action”.