The Consul-General of Nigeria in Johannesburg, South Africa, Mr Godwin Adama, has condemned the killing of three Nigerians between April 6 and April 9 at different locations in the country.
Adama, however, said in statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja that the killings were not xenophobic attacks related.
“It is clear that as much as any form of criminality and xenophobic attacks against foreigners, including Nigerians in South Africa is condemnable, the killings do not fit into xenophobic attacks.
“The cases are the stabbing of a Nigerian, Mr Bonny Iwuola, in Turfontain in Johanesburg on April 6 at about 23.30 hours in front of his house, by unknown assailants, and more of crime related murder.
“Other Nigerians in the compound were neither molested nor attacked.
“Another Nigerian, Gozien Christian, from Agbor in Delta State, was stabbed to death by three unknown assailants. No arrest has been made but cases were opened and police are investigating the murders,” he said.
According to him, a third case of murder which happened on the night of April 8 at Sunnyside in Pretoria happened at the usual place of cult-related murders by Nigerian cult groups.
“This particular case had more connection with business-related disagreement that turned sour.
“Investigations are on but eye witness accounts indicated that he was killed and his new Mercedes car-2019 model was snatched and driven away. All these cases do not appear to be xenophobic.
“They are part of the usual crime-related killings in South Africa. Police statistics in South Africa indicate that over 18,000 murders take place in South Africa in a year,” he said.
According to him, the country has one of the highest crime rates in the world and security is a serious business here.
Adama, however, said that the Mission had been on top of the situation adding that the latest xenophobic attacks against foreigners in Kwazulu Natal province did not affect Nigerians.
He said that other recent attacks that affected Nigerians occurred on Àpril 3 at Evander which led to destruction and looting of some of their property were immediately put under control.
“We personally travelled there on Friday to organise a joint meeting with Nigerians and police authorities in the area and the matter was resolved amicably.
“The Nigerians were immediately reintegrated into the community as police assured of their safety and protection.
“Finally, the host president has condemned any violence against foreigners and the minister of foreign affairs has had two meetings so far with African Diplomats to discuss the matter,” he said.
He said that it was the first time that the government was taking serious steps to discuss the matter adding that the ruling ANC party had also condemned the action and the situation was calm.
The greatest challenge we have now is Nigerians killing other Nigerians in cult-related murders,” the envoy said.