TWO Nigerian nationals were reportedly killed in Johannesburg, South Africa at the weekend amid a resurgence of attacks on foreigners in the country.
Although details of the incident are still sketchy at the time of filing this report, it was gathered that one of the deceased identified simply as Dashu was shot dead at Midrand Hyper in Johannesburg on Saturday, January 28.
Dashu is said to be a well-known 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.
The other deceased was gunned down at is a suburb of Johannesburg same day after the suspects allegedly called him by name to confirm his identity, before shooting him multiple times.
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, without evidence, are taking jobs, driving up crime and putting a strain on public services. South Africans turn their ire 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 added 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.