The Nigerian Community in South Africa has announced the killing of Clement Nwaogu, who was burnt alive by a mob in the latest xenophobic attack in that country.
The Publicity Secretary of the Nigeria Union in South Africa, Mr. Habib Miller, confirmed the killing from Pretoria in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Port Harcourt on Monday.
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 that 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 the South African police officers.
“Eyewitnesses 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 that the mob then left Nwaogu when they thought he had died.
The spokesman said that it was shortly after the mob left Nwaogu that some passersby called emergency personnel, who later took the victim’s charred body to the hospital.
“The eyewitnesses feeling that the victim was still alive called for help; unfortunately, Nwaogu could not survive the ordeal and died at the Job Shimankane Hospital in Rustenburg,” he said.
In another development, Miller said 14 Nigerians, who protested against the killing of a fellow citizen in that country’s North-West Province in February, were still in detention.
He said the police officers murdered the Nigerian on December 17 after failing to extort money from the victim.
Miller said that the police officers had since been released on bail while those who protested against 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.
NAN recalls that the killing of Nwaogu follows the extrajudicial killing of another Nigerian, ThankGod Okoro, 30, by the South African Police Flying Squad.
Okoro, a native of Ogbaku in the Awgwu Local Government Area of Enugu, 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 February, 2016.
Meanwhile, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Diaspora Affairs, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, on Monday disclosed that about four South African policemen were on trial for the alleged killing and maltreating of Nigerians in the country.
Dabiri-Erewa said this in a message he posted on her verified Twitter handle, @abikedabiri.
She was responding to twitter users who raised concerns over the continued violence targeted at Nigerians in South Africa.
One user had demanded to know what was happening to Nigeria’s citizenship diplomacy principle in the face of continued attacks on Nigerians, asking if it was not yet time for reciprocity on South Africa.
That, Dabiri-Erewa said, was a decision for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
She, however, said the nation’s mission in South Africa was making progress in discussions and engagements.
“That really is a decision for the MFA. But our mission in SA has made progress in discussions and engagements.
“About four SA policemen currently on trial for killings and maltreatment of Nigerians. Never happened before,” she wrote.