Following the latest attacks on Nigerian businesses and properties in South African, the Nigerian Mission in that country has said that the trouble was caused by erroneous information over the death of a Taxi driver in Pretoria.
Godwin Adama, the Nigeria Consul in Johannesburg, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria in a telephone conversation from Johannesburg, on Friday.
Adama said that the Nigerian Mission in South Africa condemned the unwarranted violent looting and burning of Nigerian businesses and investment in the country.
He said that Nigerian businesses were seriously affected by the crisis fuelled by the death of a driver allegedly at the hands of a Tanzanian in Pretoria. However, it was erroneously attributed to a Nigerian.
He said that it was painful that erroneous information was sent to the public that the said driver was killed by a Nigerian at the Pretoria Central Business District on Tuesday.
He said that the information sparked the protest, which got out of hand and that before the police could curb it, serious damage had been done to Nigerian investments.
According to him, businesses looted and burnt included furniture, electronics shops, warehouses, mechanic and motor spare parts among others.
“What made the matter worse is that the crisis happened where there are a lot of Nigerian businesses,’’ the Consul said.
Adama said that Nigerian businesses lost millions of dollars to the attacks.
He however, appealed to Nigerians in the country to remain calm stressing that the mission was on top of the situation and would address it holistically.
The Consul General urged them not to take laws into their hands but allow the law to take its course as some arrests had been made already.
Adama said that the Acting Nigerian High Commissioner, Umar Bako, on Thursday, held a meeting with aggrieved Nigerians who came to lodge complaints at the mission in Pretoria.
He said Bako assured the complainants that quick actions would be taken to intervene in the matter.
Adama said the Acting High Commissioner requested them to compile the list of the affected businesses and the value of property loss.
This is to enable the mission to present its case to the South African Authority.
“The mission appealed to the Nigerians to remain calm, assuring them that it would take the matter up with the South African authority.
“They have started the compilation and that would help the mission to do a follow up over the matter.
“The most important thing is that police have been notified over the development and the situation has been under control,’’ Adama said.