Two people were reportedly stabbed on Sunday in renewed xenophobic protests in Johannesburg, South Africa.
This is happening a week after a number of foreigners including Nigerians were violently attacked by South African nationals asking them to leave their country.
The President, Nigerian Union South Africa, Adetola Olubajo, confirmed to Punch in a telephone interview that the renewed attacks started on Sunday morning.
He however could not speak on the nationalities of the victims or the severity of the injuries as the police had yet to give details.
His words: “It’s confirmed that two people were stabbed at a ‘taxi rank’, Jeppe Road in Johannesburg Central Business District and we have informed the Consul-General of Nigeria in Johannesburg and the police in Jeppestown.
“I’m not sure (of their nationalities) as the police have taken them to hospital. Their identities were not disclosed. The police are using rubber bullets to disperse them.”
According to the NUSA president, there was a meeting on Sunday morning which the police minister was supposed to address.
He also said a popular South African activist, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, addressed the South Africans, calling for peace, but some of the protesters got angry and left.
“Now, they are chanting ‘foreigners must go’ with some dangerous weapons in their hands. They have moved from Jeppestown to Braamfontein even to the Central Business Distirct(CBD) Taxi Rank in town.
“Though we have been monitoring the incident for the past three hours now, police have not been able to disperse them. Our fear is that they may start looting again in the night.
“We have sent an alert to Nigerians. Immediately, we used our various social media platforms to do that. We sent it to our structures and the entirety of Nigerians. Most Nigerians are aware of this by now because there are photos and videos, and it is also televised by South Africa Broadcasting Coporation(SABC),” he said.
Olubajo stated that a lot of Nigerians live in the affected area. He however added that some had relocated because of last Sunday’s looting and vandalism.
“Quite a number of our people live around Jeppestown and Fountain. We are talking about Johannesburg, which is very big but Jeppestown is close to the eastern part of Johannesburg.
“Jules Street is closer to them; it’s a major road they would take to the CBD. Taxi Rank is the major bus stop there. They have virtually captured that taxi rank and Braamfontein,” he said.
At least 10 people died in last week’s attack while a number of shops belonging to foreigners in the country were looted and destroyed. The incident prompted citizens of some African countries like Nigeria, Zambia and Angola to carry out reprisal attacks on South Africa-linked companies in their respective countries. It has also degenerated into a diplomatic row between Nigeria and South Africa, with the Nigerian government evacuating its citizens and recalling its Ambassador in South Africa. The South African government has also shut its high commission and suspended consular activities in Nigeria indefinitely.