Ikechukwu Anyene, president of the Nigerian union in South Africa, has confirmed a xenophobic attack on a Nigerian community, days after ongoing xenophobic attacks in the southern African country began.
Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) from Pretoria, South Africa, Anyene said the mechanic workshop of a Nigerian was completely destroyed early on Friday in Johannesburg.
“In the early hours of today, the mechanic workshop of a Nigerian, with 10 cars and all the tools inside, was destroyed by some South Africans,” he said.
“The buildup to the attack started last night when the South Africans started gathering in the neighbourhood of the Nigerian. The Nigerians living there did not sleep and early today, the South Africans struck.”
He said the the attackers defied the presence of the police to carry out the attack.
“The attacks are spreading and Nigerians do not sleep again,” he said.
“They keep vigil to ensure that they are not taken unawares. There is tension everywhere. Nigerians have closed their shops for fear of being attacked.”
While confirming that no Nigerian has been killed, Anyeye called on Nigerian and South African government to reach and understanding to protect Nigerians in South Africa.
“South Africa has lots of businesses in Nigeria and they are doing well. Also, South Africans live in Nigeria and it is on record that Nigerians have never carried out xenophobic attack on fellow Africans.
“Though no Nigerian has been killed, it may get to that because we have had close shaves with death. The real truth is that Nigerians have lost so much in their businesses to the attacks.
“The time has come for the Nigerian government to make a categorical statement on these attacks. We are not happy with what is happening and something urgent must be done to stop these attacks.”
Attacks by South Africans began earlier in the week, but Friday morning’s attack is the first confirmed case targeted at any Nigerian