Fresh xenophobic attacks in South Africa, TUC kicks against killing of Nigerians

A man holds a brick near the hostels in the Jeppestown area of Johannesburg where clashes broke out / Mujahid Safodien /AFP

About 100 people ransacked shops in Johannesburg overnight, police said yesterday, in the latest burst of xenophobic attacks and looting incidents in South African cities.

Doors and windows were smashed, and food and other items were strewn on the floor in stores believed to belong to immigrants in Jeppestown, an area in the central business district, a Reuters witness said.

One person was arrested.
In Lagos, the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has expressed concern over the attacks calling on the Federal Government to immediately evacuate Nigerians to prevent further killings.

The organized labour union yesterday said from all indications, it appears there is a grand conspiracy to waste lives and take over the property of innocent and harmless fellow Africans.

The Secretary General, TUC, Musa-Lawal Ozigi, said: “First and foremost their anger is misplaced and probably borne out of the inferiority complex suffered from years of oppression and apartheid.

“As a credible organization, we condemn crimes in all its forms and support punishment for those found culpable. ‘’But in this case, no one has mentioned any case of crime; it is rather a case of a country whose freedom we staked our lives, financed and spent other resources to fight for and today we get xenophobia as returns,” he said.

He added “We are calling on the Federal Government to put modalities in place to evacuate Nigerians in South Africa and recall the High Commissioner immediately to save the situation as further killing may lead to a major crisis. They own several multi-billion dollar investments on our soils yet, we co-exist despite all odds. This killing and dehumanisation of Nigerians must stop.

“It is important at this juncture that we let the African Union (AU) and United Nations Organisation (UNO) caution South Africans and let them know that no individuals or country has a monopoly of violence,” he stated.

However, the Catholic archbishop emeritus of Lagos Archdiocese, Anthony Cardinal Okogie has accused Nigerian ambassadors of being self-centered and concerned only about their personal properties.

He said this during a ceremony put together by Catholic Artistes and Entertainers Association of Nigeria (CAEAN) and directorate of social communication to celebrate his 50 years as a priest.

Okogie condemned the xenophobic activities going on in South Africa and also blamed the government for the continued attack on Nigerians.

“What is happening to our people in South Africa right now is very bad. But what can we do? We are supposed to have ambassadors to fight for us there but they are self-centered and only concerned about their own lives and properties. What has any one of them brought to our country for improvement of the nation, unlike other nation’s ambassadors who try to foster trade and protect the citizens in Diaspora and so much more,” he lamented.

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TUCXenophobic Attacks
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