Federal government appeals to South Africa again after irate mob burn Nigerian alive in Rustenburg

NIGERIA'S government has once more called on South Africa to do something about the xenophobic attacks on foreigners living in the country after an unruly mob burnt a Nigerian Clement Nwaogu alive in Rustenburg in the North-West Province.


In a horrific murder, the mob descended on Mr Nwaogu and set him ablaze, with the police apparently looking on and refusing to intervene. To make matters worse, 14 Nigerians in South Africa who protested against a similar killing in February, are said to have been arrested and are still in detention.


Responding to the murder, Nigeria's federal; government described the development as unfortunate and called on the South African authorities to find a lasting solution to the incessant killing of Nigerians in the country. Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the senior special assistant to the president on diaspora and foreign affairs has urged Pretoria to address the matter urgently.


Hon Dabiri-Erewa said: "No fewer than 14 Nigerians, who protested the killing of a fellow citizen in that country’s North-West Province some months ago are still in detention. Although a bailable offence, the judge has been threatened not to release them, being told that if they are released and returned to the community, all houses of Nigerians living there will be burnt down.


"There was so much tension that even the Nigerian lawyers representing Nigerians had to be escorted to court by Diplomatic Police. The community has vowed to deal with anyone who plays a positive role in getting the accused Nigerians return to Rustenburg and the latest incident is apparently a reaction to their threat of dealing with any Nigerian that they find in their community.”


Habib Miller, the secretary of the Nigerian Union in South Africa, said Mr Nwaogu, from Njikoka in Anambra State, was attacked and killed by a mob in Rustenburg. He added that  the victim was murdered in cold blood over his accent, which the mobsters supposedly found offensive.


Mr Miller said: “The mob descended on him like a common criminal with all sorts of dangerous weapons in the presence of South African Police officers. Eye-witnesses said the victim beckoned for help from the police but they turned a blind eye.


"When Nwaogu could no longer persevere, he ran for safety. However, the mob chased and caught him, poured petrol on him and set him ablaze.”


According to the Nigerian high commission in South Africa, there are plans for several meetings between the mission and the government this week. Also, the Nigerian high commissioner in South Africa has spoken to the local community there and tried to calm down nerves.