Stella Dimoko Nigerian Victims Of Xenophobic Attacks In South Africa Recount How It Started....


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Saturday, September 07, 2019

Nigerian Victims Of Xenophobic Attacks In South Africa Recount How It Started....

South Africa, for more than a week now, has been caught in an orgy of violence. On a daily basis, terror has been unleashed on the foreign nationals in the country, particularly Nigerians. The social media is awash with video clips of defenseless individuals being beaten or burnt to death by South Africans.

On account of the conflicting reports as to the cause of the latest unrest and why the South Africans are targeting foreign nationals in the country, some Nigerians resident in South Africa narrated their horrible experiences in different interviews with THE NATIONS newspaper.

One of the Nigerian victims, Julius Osas, a resident of Sunnyside in Pretoria, close to the place where the current xenophobic attacks was triggered, said he has lived in South Africa for 10 years.

Narrating how it all began, he said: 

“Someone was actually killed, and where it happened is not far from where I stay. The problem began in Pretoria Central Business District (CBD). It was an issue between some South African taxi drivers and some Tanzanian street urchins who were peddling drug.

“They (Tanzanians) peddle a drug called Nyaope. That is the local name. It is a cheap but very dangerous drug. Street boys use the drug. They use syringe and needle to draw some blood from their body. Then they would mix Nyaope with the blood they have drawn out and inject it back into their body. I have not used it before, but I know it is very dangerous.

“When they have injected the drug back into their system and it starts working, they start to behave in a certain way. When they talk to you, they talk so slowly that they look like imbeciles. Even when they are on their feet, they will be sleeping.

“The drug is cheap and Tanzanian guys are the peddlers. I don’t know where or how it is manufactured, but it is Tanzanians who deal in the drug. It has nothing to do with Nigerians. I have been here in South Africa for 10 years and I know it is Tanzanians that deal in that type of drug.

“They sell the stuff at Brown Street, a very popular street in Pretoria CBD. That is where they usually converge. We call them Nyaope Boys. They sell mostly to South African urchins and street boys. And those urchins, when they jam you on the road at night, they rob and maul you. They are very dangerous, so people don’t want to come across them at night.

“Now, on that fateful Tuesday afternoon on August 27, some South African taxi drivers challenged some of the Tanzanian drug peddlers on Brown Street. Apparently, they had been having issues. The place is close to the taxi drivers’ mini park. There were also some South African policemen around when the trouble began.

“In no time, the quarrel between the Tanzanian drug peddlers and the taxi drivers escalated into a scuffle while the policemen at the spot tried to calm the situation. Suddenly, one of the Nyaope Boys grabbed the service pistol of one of the policemen and shot one of the taxi drivers dead. The drug peddlers escaped from the scene and the mob that gathered started shouting that they were Nigerians. That was the genesis of the whole problem.

“That afternoon, the chaos turned into violence. The aggrieved taxi drivers hijacked some trucks, blocked the road with them and started fighting all the foreigners they came across. That was the genesis of the latest attacks.”
Osas said they had thought that the crisis had ended as the day drew to an end. Surprisingly, the crisis continued the following morning as South Africans insisted that the culprits were Nigerians and vowed to go round killing Nigerians and other foreigners and destroying their shops and property.

He said: “The next day, some jobless South African youths hijacked the protest from the taxi drivers. They started looting, burning and vandalizing shops owned by foreigners.

“Later, members of the South African Police Force (SAPF) were drafted to calm the situation, but by then, it had got out of hand.
“The taxi drivers said they did not loot any shop; that the looting was the handiwork of hoodlums. They said they were just trying to voice out their anger over the killing of one of their members.

“The next day being Thursday (August 29), they came to Sunnyside ostensibly to attack the drug dealers in Sunnyside. It is not far from where I stay. I saw everything live. A lot of Nigerians and other foreign nationals live there. Here in Sunnyside, we have the highest number of foreign nationals in Pretoria.”

Osas said Sunnyside is most inhabited by foreigners, hence they were able to mobilise themselves to save their lives and property since the government could not contain the rampaging South Africans. He explained that most of the destructions done by the rampaging South Africans occurred in Pretoria CBD. 

“The major destruction and looting started there at Pretoria CBD. They burnt and looted shops. Any shop or business place owned by foreigners were targeted and destroyed,” he said.
He, however, said that things were gradually returning to normal as he had started going to work.

Another Nigerian victim,
who did not want his name in print for security reasons, said: “They knew that the killing was not committed by Nigerians. They just seized the opportunity to damage a lot of things, burn Nigerians’ shops for nothing.
“Ironically, these Tanzanian guys do not have shops. They stay on the streets. Look at what they have caused Nigerians because of hatred. Even if you are nursing hatred, it should be against somebody you know has done you wrong.


  1. Oh God.. what did we do to suffer this kind of hatred?
    Please protect yourselves. That was how they killed Lucky Dube thinking he was a Nigerian.
    God help those Zulus.

  2. Tanzanian, Nigerian, South African, etc say no to jungle/ mob violence. See unusual activities, report to the police. Police please take your jobs seriously.

  3. Wickedness in low places

  4. It is safe to say that both South African policemen and Naija policemen attended the same training school.

  5. They hate Nigerians abroad and we hate ourselves at home. I remember when Yorubas were telling Igbos to go back to the east and hausas were forcing people to leave the north through violence. I'm tired of being a Nigerian honestly

  6. @Lucent, it was two Mozambique nationals that shot Lucky Dube while trying to snatch his car from him, they thought he was Nigerian [It was a Chrysler].

    1. Aren't you both saying the same thing? Mozambique or south African, he was killed because he looked like a Nigerian. That's how deep their hatred for our country men is, and how alien success is to them. Once you look okay, you must be a Nigerian and should be dealt with.
      Maybe I'm being emotional about it, but Dube's death pained me abeg. An icon like him, my personal favorite, gunned down just like that. Their reason sef made me more angry.

  7. Wickedness in high and low places,see the extent people can go because of hatred.Nigerian government should wake up and make them pay before any other country will think it is OK to kill a Nigerian for Nothing

  8. This is what u see when u see evil happening and u don't all speak a voice to the government to see into these dealers and probably have them deported to their countries. Everyone keeps quiet because it doesn't bother them. Now that alot has affected u indirectly....Guess Nigerians and everyone that has this attitude of me and my family alone... Will start speaking up when criminals are perpetrating environment..and write to government on their concerns. Sorry it has happened. But this is a big lesson to all. Do not wait until all is destroying before to speak out on evils affecting u or that will affect the generation upcoming. Same is still happening here.... We are less concerned as long as our families are fine and okay. Without knowing that those hungry in the country today will soon rise and take any opportunity that comes up to attack the wealth of the rich or loot the property of the middle class. As we speak now... We don't have any party and candidate we are nursing as the Youth for the next election. We keep quiet...we keep quiet. Even if u don't need money... How about the hungry man on the street that has nothing to feed on....cant we have a voice to start on social media...a campaign for the TRUSTED party and have a trusted candidate we will all together vote for. Election is and will always be a game of numbers if only we have one voice. They have reigned enough... Let another circle take over... Shall we continue to do Same thing same way and expect heavens to fall. No. Nigerians let's wake up..... Having good leaders will to a large extent solve some major problems especially through strict judiciary and enforcement of laws.... Things will gradually come to shape.... A party and a candidate we need now.. Let's begin to root...lets begin to speak to people one on one... 2023 is at the corner...Youths let's wake up..let the campaign start now.... A party and reputable candidates under it. If Nigerian is 40% better.... I tell u no-one will go to another man land to be eaten and burnt raw. It's an eye opening to us all... Let's all wake up to vote the best candidate and set of leaders that will bring back the glory of this nation. It's not over until it's over. Blessed good morning to u all.


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