Nigerians protest in Johannesburg

Nigerian High Commissioner to South Africa, Buba Marwa. Photo: NAN

Nigerians in Johannesburg on Tuesday staged a 90-minute march across the city to protest the killing of one of them and to demand better treatment from the police.

Theophilus Anielefo, a real estate agent, was allegedly killed by South African police on July 31, in questionable circumstances.

A large number of Nigerians carrying placards and singing protest songs, marched through the streets, escorted by South African Police and traffic officers, as they aired their grievances.

The protesters marched from Rossetinville Road to Booysons Police station, a distance of about 12km, where they submitted a protest letter to the authorities.

The widow of the deceased, Cynthia Aneliefo, and her mother participated in the protest march.

Speaking at the Booysons Police Station, President of Nigerian Union in South Africa, Jason Osuafor, said the peaceful demonstration was to show disaffection with the killing of Mr. Aneliefo and other cases of maltreatment of Nigerians.

“We are your brothers and are law abiding, contributing our quota to the development of the economy,” Mr. Osuafor said and urged the Police to put a stop to such extra judicial killings.

He said the murder of Aneliefo was unfortunate and charged the authorities to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book.

Mr. Osuafor said the harmonious relations between both Nigeria and South Africa displayed at governmental levels should also be seen among the people.

He noted that there were many inter-marriages between citizens of both countries and stressed the need for brotherliness.

Shadrack Khoza, an colonel and military officer who received the protest letter, assured them that their grievances would be forwarded to the appropriate authorities for necessary action.

Nigeria’s High Commissioner to South Africa, Buba Marwa, in a visit to the home of the deceased on Sunday, promised to take up the issue with the appropriate authority.

“We are not taking this issue lying low,” Mr. Marwa said, and urged the widow to take heart.

Mr. Marwa described the killing of Aneliefo as a “grave injustice” and assured Nigerians living in Souh Africa of the mission’s determination to ensure that their rights were protected.

He said the mission had sought audience with the South African National Police Commissioner,

Bheki Cele to make a formal protest over maltreatment of Nigerians.

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