The Nigerian community in South Africa yesterday announced the killing of Clement Nwaogu, who was burnt alive by a mob in the latest xenophobia attack in the country.
Publicity Secretary of the Nigeria Union in South Africa Mr. Habib Miller confirmed the killing from Pretoria yesterday in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
He said the victim, a native of Njikoka in Anambra State and an upholsterer in South Africa, was attacked and killed by a mob in Rustenburg, North West Province.
Miller said the victim was murdered in cold blood over his accent and habit, which the mobsters supposedly found offensive.
“The mob descended on him like a common criminal with all sorts of dangerous weapons in the presence of South African police officers.
“Witnesses say the victim beckoned for help from the police to intervene and help him, but they turned a blind eye.
“When Nwaogu could no longer persevere, he ran for safety; the mob chased and caught him, poured petrol on him and set him ablaze,” he said.
Miller said the mob then left Nwaogu when they thought he had died.
The spokesman said after the mob left, some passersby called emergency personnel, who later took the victim’s charred body to the hospital.
“The witnesses feeling that the victim was still alive called for help; unfortunately, Nwaogu could not survive the ordeal and died at Job Shimankane Hospital in Rustenburg,” he said.
Miller also said 14 Nigerians, who protested the killing of a fellow citizen in that country’s North West Province in February are still in detention.
He said the police officers murdered the Nigerian in cold blood on December 17 after failing to extort money from the victim.
Miller added that the police officers had since been released on bail while those who protested the killing were still languishing in detention.
“Our legal team is doing everything possible to facilitate the release of the protesters.
“We are worried that nothing has been done by the Nigerian government to stop the killings.
“We once again call on the Nigerian mission in South Africa to do the needful urgently because things are getting out of hand.
“The union with its legal desk will follow up the matter with the appropriate institutions until justice prevails,” he added.
Nwaogu was married to a South African and was blessed with two children; aged three and five years.
The killing of Nwaogu followed extra-judicial killing of another Nigerian, ThankGod Okoro, 30, by the South African Police Flying Squad.
Okoro, a native of Ogbaku in Awgwu Local Government Area, Enugu State, was shot dead at Hamburg, Florida West Rand, Johannesburg on April 9.
Records show that no fewer than 118 Nigerians have been killed in South Africa since
Meanwhile, tesidency yesterday described the killing of Clement Nwaogu, another Nigerian in Rustenburg, South Africa as unfortunate.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and the Diaspora, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, in a statement in Abuja, condemned the latest xenophobia attack in South Africa.
She called on South African authorities to find lasting solution to the incessant killing of Nigerians in the country.
She urged Nigerians living abroad to obey the laws of countries where they lived, and avoid crime and criminality to avoid unwarranted attacks and killings.
The Presidential aide said Rustenburg, where the incident happened, was a particularly hostile and a volatile community.
She noted that 14 Nigerians who protested the killing of a fellow citizen in that country North West Province some months ago were still in detention.
She said though a bailable offence, the judge had been threatened not to release them.
“Just a few days ago, on April 17, the case came up in court. There was so much tension that even the Nigerian lawyers representing the 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 Rustenberg,” she said.
She added that the Nigerian Mission in Pretoria and the Consulate in Johannesburg had done everything possible, in the recent past, to get justice for Nigerians in South Africa.