Nige­ri­ans claim ‘re­venge at­tack’ in SA

CityPress - - News - OLANIYI ABODEDELE news@city­press.co.za

Nige­rian de­por­tees were al­legedly beaten up last month at Krugers­dorp’s Lin­dela Repa­tri­a­tion Cen­tre as re­venge for the col­lapse of pas­tor TB Joshua’s Synagogue Church for All Na­tions in La­gos.

The Nige­rian Voice news­pa­per, based in Pre­to­ria, re­ported this week about 19 Nige­ri­ans were at­tacked at Lin­dela on Septem­ber 20.

A team from the Nige­rian diplo­matic mis­sion to South Africa vis­ited the cen­tre after wit­nesses told it about the at­tacks.

A re­port by the team states: “The af­fected Nige­ri­ans also al­leged that while the se­cu­rity men were un­leash­ing may­hem on them, one of the se­cu­rity men [known as Mr Mike] was heard shout­ing [that] they were go­ing to kill Nige­ri­ans in re­tal­i­a­tion [for] the South Africans who were killed when the guest­house of the Synagogue Church col­lapsed in La­gos.”

The re­port has been given to the High Com­mis­sion of Nige­ria in Pre­to­ria.

The team said the in­ci­dent be­gan with an ar­gu­ment be­tween a Nige­rian and a Tan­za­nian who were be­ing de­tained at Lin­dela. It said: “The de­vel­op­ment, which at­tracted the at­ten­tion of the pri­vate se­cu­rity out­fit at the fa­cil­ity, only wors­ened when they were al­leged to have taken side(s) against Nige­ri­ans.

“They were re­ported to have beaten and shot some Nige­ri­ans with rub­ber bul­lets, re­sult­ing in bro­ken heads and limbs.”

The pa­per in­ter­viewed some­one who was vis­it­ing Lin­dela at the time who sup­ported the ver­sion of events by the team.

Lin­dela em­ploys guards from pri­vate se­cu­ri­ty­groupBosasa. Itis­claimed th­ese guards at­tacked the Nige­ri­ans. Bosasa spokesper­son Papa Le­sha­bane con­firmed the in­ci­dent. “Our se­cu­rity at Lin­dela was re­spond­ing to a sit­u­a­tion that in­volved the Nige­rian na­tion­als and the Tan­za­ni­ans. The Nige­rian na­tion­als were as­sault­ing a Tan­za­nian, ac­cus­ing him of steal­ing from one of their own,” he said.

“Se­cu­rity in­ter­vened and the Nige­rian na­tion­als started as­sault­ing the se­cu­rity of­fi­cers leav­ing them with no op­tion but to se­cure them­selves, the Tan­za­ni­ans and the prop­erty.”

South Africa’s in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions and co­op­er­a­tion depart­ment re­ferred all ques­tions to the home af­fairs depart­ment, which said it was not aware of any in­ci­dent.

AK Ba­lo­gun, se­nior con­sul at the High Com­mis­sion of Nige­ria in Pre­to­ria, said he and his col­leagues were “not happy about the is­sue”.

“We are await­ing a fi­nal re­port and are go­ing through the right chan­nels to ad­dress the is­sue.”

– The Nige­rian Voice

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