Nigerian Union slams 'stereotypical views' on its nationals over rampant crime

Several Nigerian shops and houses have been targeted in Rosettenville, Atteridgeville, Mamelodi and Pretoria West by locals.

Residents in Rosettenville have destroyed property belonging to alleged drug dealers and brothel owners in the area. Picture: @MichaelSun168/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG – The Nigerian Union of South Africa has condemned what it says are stereotypical views claiming its nationals are responsible for crime.

Several Nigerian shops and houses have been targeted in Rosettenville, Atteridgeville, Mamelodi and Pretoria West this month by locals claiming their properties are used as brothels and drug dens.

Residents say they have reported these incidents to the police but police are too slow to respond to their information.

But the union’s Emaka Collins says the attacks are of a xenophobic nature.

“Our appeal to the people of South Africa is not to paint everyone with the brush, criminality has no nationality.”

The Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation’s Nomfundo Mogapi says government must deal with communities' bread and butter issues.

NIGERIA URGES AU TO INTERVENE

Nigeria has urged the African Union (AU) to step in to stop what it says are xenophobic attacks on its citizens and other Africans in South Africa.

The presidency in Abuja says there’s a need for the continental body to intervene urgently, claiming that in the last two years about 116 Nigerians have been killed in South Africa , including 20 last year.

Senior presidential aide on foreign affairs Abike Abiri Erewa in a statement said the treatment of Nigerians in South Africa is unacceptable to the people and government of that country.

There was no independent verification of the claimed number of deaths.

Statement also doesn’t how many deaths were the result of wider criminal activity rather than anti-immigrant sentiment.

The Nigerian Union in South Africa says there are about 800,000 Nigerians in South Africa, many of them living in Johannesburg.

ANTI-IMMIGRATION MARCH TO GO AHEAD

A group which has planned a march against foreigners in Pretoria said it will go ahead with the demonstration on Friday despite the Tshwane Metro Police Department (TMPD) rejecting their application.

The Mamelodi Concerned Residents intends marching to the Home Affairs Department to protest against government allowing immigrants into the country.

A leader of the Mamelodi Concerned Residents told Eyewitness News that they believe their democratic right to demonstrate is being violated and that the march will go ahead.

It’s understood the TMPD had security concerns in light of recent attacks against immigrants.

Coalition of Civics against Xenophobia coordinator Mametlwe Sebei says they’re organising a campaign to fight xenophobia.

“This includes organising community patrols against xenophobic mobs, destruction of property and killing of immigrants.”

He has urged the public not participate in the anti-immigrant march.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)