Why some Nigerians in South Africa are safe, others in danger.
By Joshua Mathews, in South Africa, with agency reports.
Some Nigerians in South Africa are safe from xenophobic attacks simply because they live in white-dominated areas, everyday.ng investigations show.
Our correspondent reports that almost all of those attacked live among the blacks who see them as threats to jobs and black-market activities like drugs and prostitution.
Nigerians in the last few days were victims of xenophobic attacks
Said a Nigerian: “We are safe in… because its not a _black_ region. The unsafe places right now are black communities like where we go to buy cheap food.
“It is a function of the historic xenophobia thing. The black South African see other blacks as part of their problem.
“They are already intimidated. Our fellow country men are accused of selling drugs to them, using them to market the drugs, make babies through their women so as to apply for permanent residence, befriend the women in locations so as to have a place to stay……”
To curb the attacks, analysts suggested the need to stop or reduce the number of asylum seekers to South Africa
“Secondly, all illegitimate Nigerians should be repatriated back to Nigeria,” a Nigerian who does not want to be named stated.
“By illegitimate Nigerians, I mean Nigerians who are illegally living in SA.”
Also, he added. South Africans need to “wise up” to their moral values.
“SA is a place where sex is at its cheapest value. That’s what some Nigerians are taking advantage of. Some Nigerians take advantage of their gullible ladies are available to offer sex for food, upkeep and so on. So if a guy can afford to feed them, they will be willing to live with the guy. Thus, the guys then seek for permanent residence on the claim of marriage to a South African lady.” he concluded.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the Nigerian Community in South Africa confirmed 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.