LOCAL people in the South African Northern Cape Province have Nigerians and other foreigners 12 hours to vacate the area after a Nigerian man stabbed a local policeman to death following an altercation.
Early this morning, the Nigerian man, said to be from Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, stabbed a local policeman identified as Nico Visagie, to death. In response the local residents in the Keimoes and Upington areas of Northern Cape Province asked all foreigners to vacate the area today.
Adetola Olubajo, the president of Nigeria Union in South Africa, said the details of the disagreement were still not very clear as the major witness was also stabbed multiple times and was still in critical condition at the hospital. He added, however, that the suspect who stabbed the police officer had been arrested and would appear in court on or before next Monday.
Mr Olubajo said: “After the horrific incident, the community members of Keimoes and its environs went on the rampage burning and destroying properties belonging to foreign nationals, Nigerians in particular. These attacks spread to Upington and Nigerians and other foreign nationals were also expelled from Upington.
“Prompt police intervention this morning brought about calm but the situation is still tense and some locals were arrested by the police for public disturbance and malicious damage to properties. They appeared in a magistrates’ court this morning for bail hearing.
“We commend the swift intervention of the members of the South African Police Service and the arrest of the suspect is a welcome development. We hope the police will continue to maintain law and order in the area.”
Keimoes is a town in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa that lies on the Orange River and is about halfway between Upington and Kakamas. Over recent years, xenophobia has been on the rise across South Africa, leading to frequent clashes between local people and African migrants.