January 31, 2023

Two Nigerians shot dead in renewed xenophobic attacks in South Africa

Two Nigerians shot dead in renewed xenophobic attacks in South Africa

By Biodun Busari

Two Nigerians were allegedly shot dead in Johannesburg, South Africa at the weekend amid resurgent xenophobic attacks on foreigners in the country.

According to ICIR, on Monday, one of the victims identified as Dashu was gunned down at Midrand Hyper in Johannesburg on Saturday, but the details of the incident were still unclear.

The report said Dashu was a popular trader around the Boulders Mall area in Johannesburg and was reportedly married to a Congolese woman with whom he had two children before he was brutally murdered.

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Also, the other deceased whose identity was not revealed was killed in a suburb of Johannesburg the same day after the suspects allegedly called him by name to confirm his identity.

He was allegedly shot multiple times in what was a blatant xenophobic attack, according to ICIR.

Recent reports of xenophobic violence and discrimination have continued to escalate in the country as migrants, refugees and asylum seekers remain at risk of attacks and hate speech.

Under the auspices of an anti-migrant group named “Operation Dudula” whose slogan is “Put South African First”, citizens of the country have united to force out immigrants who they claim are taking their jobs.

South Africans have unleashed terror on Nigerians and other foreign nationals at various times or the other, claiming without evidence, that they drive up crime and put a strain on public services.

South Africans turn their rage on immigrants from other African countries often resulting in violence.

In the World Report 2023, Human Rights Watch noted that these vigilante groups conduct door-to-door searches for undocumented foreign nationals, whom they blame for South Africa’s high crime and unemployment rates.

“In April, an anti-migrant mob killed a 43-year-old Zimbabwean national in Diepsloot, Johannesburg: in June, another mob set fire to the Yeoville market in Johannesburg, where mostly migrant shopkeepers rented stalls; and in September, a group of South Africans burned the homes of two migrant men in Plettenberg Bay, Western Cape,” the report noted.

It also said that despite South Africa’s strong legal and human rights framework on refugees and asylum seekers, its asylum management system continued to fail many in need of protection.

In a memo dated 24th August, the Nigerian High Commission in Pretoria alerted Nigerians in South Africa to be vigilant and be cautious of their activities, in view of a planned attack on foreign citizens.