Xenophobia: South Africans expel Nigerians after cop’s murder

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Nigerians and other foreign nationals resident South Africa’s Keimoes and Upington areas of Nothern Cape Province were on Thursday morning given 12 hours by the indigenes to vacate the area.

The President of Nigeria Union in South Africa, Adetola Olubajo, made the disclosure in a statement made available to newsmen on Thursday in Lagos.

Olubajo said the development was as a result of an ugly incident that took place on Wednesday, January 8, between a Police Officer and a Nigerian.

He said that the Nigerian man, from Abakaliki in Ebonyi State, allegedly stabbed and killed the Police Officer, Constable Nico Visagie, during a disagreement at 5a.m.

Olubajo said details of the disagreement were still not very clear as the major witness was also stabbed multiple times and was still in critical condition at the hospital.

“After the horrific incident, the community members of Keimoes and environs went on rampage burning and destroying properties belonging to foreign nationals, Nigerians in particular.

“These attacks spread to Upington and Nigerians and other foreign nationals were also expelled from Upington.

“Prompt police intervention this morning brought about calm but the situation is still tense. Some locals were arrested by the police for public disturbance and malicious damage to properties.

“They appeared in a magistrates’ court this morning for bail hearing,’’ he said. He added that the suspect who stabbed the police officer had been arrested and would appear in court on or before next Monday.

“We commend the swift intervention of the members of South African Police Service (SAPS) and the arrest of the suspect is a welcome development.

“We hope the police will continue to maintain law and order in the area,’’ Olubajo said.

Keimoes is a town in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa.

It lies on the Orange River and is about halfway between Upington and Kakamas.

NAN