The Nigerian Citizens Association South Africa (NICASA) has condemned Wednesday’s killing of two Nigerians in South Africa by yet-to-be-identified assailants.
NICASA President, Benjamin Okoli, gave the condemnation in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.
According to him, two Nigerians were shot dead while two others sustained injuries from gunshots by unidentified assailants in the country on Wednesday.
NAN reports that the Wednesday killings brought to five, the number of Nigerians killed this month in South Africa.
Three Nigerians were reportedly killed between April 6 and April 9 at different locations in the country.
Okoli said the association had sought the intervention of the Nigerian Mission in South Africa to strategise and bring to an end, the unwarranted bloodletting among Nigerians in the country.
According to him, three Nigerians were shot at Sands Hotel Area of Berea, Johannesburg and two died instantly while one is in a critical situation in the hospital.
He said that another Nigerian was shot in Pretoria but he survived with an injury on the leg.
“Information reaching us indicated that there was a meeting of some groups of Nigerians in a restaurant at Sands Hotel Area of Berea on Wednesday at about 11:00 a.m.
“Shortly after the meeting as the people started coming out from the restaurant, gunfire erupted and two Nigerians were shot dead,” he stated.
According to him, one of those killed hailed from Ozubulu in Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra, while the other was a native of Arondizuogu in Imo State.
“The third victim is in a critical state and is currently receiving treatment at a hospital. We cannot confirm the name of the third victim but he is a Nigerian.
“Also in Sunnyside Pretoria on Wednesday, another Nigerian was shot on the leg in crime hot spot in the area,” he said.
The president of the association lamented that such killings had become common among Nigerians in South Africa, saying other Nigerians in the country were worried about it.
He added: “We appeal to the mission and consulate to strategise with the aim of bringing to an end, the unwarranted bloodletting among Nigerians. It is bringing shame and opprobrium.
“The remote and immediate causes cannot be established at this time.
According to him, the killings in Johannesburg may not be unconnected with “the Ozubulu crisis” while that of Sunnyside Pretoria was cult related.
The Consul-General of Nigeria in Johannesburg, South Africa, Mr Godwin Adama, had earlier said that the killings were more cult-related and not xenophobic.
“It is clear that as much as any form of criminality and xenophobic attacks against foreigners, including Nigerians in South Africa is condemnable, the killings do not fit into xenophobic attacks.
“The three other killings earlier recorded in April were cases of the stabbing of Mr Bonny Iwuola, in Turfontain in Johannesburg on April 6, and that of Gozien Christian from Agbor in Delta State, stabbed to death by three unknown assailants.
“The third case of murder which happened on the night of April 8 at Sunnyside in Pretoria, happened at the usual place of cult-related murders by Nigerian cult groups,” he said.