JULIUS MALEMA VISITS NIGERIA; Makes False Claim on Xenophobic Attacks on Nigerians in South Africa

Posted by Olaniyi Abodedele on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 Under: Our Headline Articles

The leader of the Economic freedom fighters (EFF) Party Julius Malema visited Lagos Nigeria recently to seek guidance and blessing from one of Africa’s most well-known spiritual leader Pastor T.B Joshua.

Julius Malema was in the Synagogue of All Nations in Lagos from 10th to 15th August, 2013. He expressed, “We all seek divine intervention, blessing of spiritual leaders and it happened that this time we came to TB Joshua and it shouldn’t be seen to be any controversial activities”.

According to eNCA report on www.enca.com, “Although Malema would not say much about his own tidings and what counsel he received from the spiritual leader, he expressed his desire to emulate Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe” He also reported that the major reason for his visit is to receive blessings for the journey ahead.

Malema explained that “Nigerians must take over the ownership of the means of production of their economy and not allow foreign multinationals to enjoy all benefits”, on Monday 12th August 2013 on his first visitation to the most populous black nation Nigeria.

As reported in brimtime.com, he stated that Nigeria and South Africa must unite “we need to work together in issues of common interest; we need to be partners not only in growing the Nigerian-South Africa economies, but in building friendship”.

Although he denied that Nigerians are often maltreated in South-Africa, saying “Nigerians in South Africa are enjoying themselves. They are very influential. They relate confidently in the society and even when there were some xenophobic attacks in South Africa, Nigerians were not casualty of such xenophobic attacks” Julius Malema stated.

Contrary to Malema’s statement, it was reported by The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in the Leadership newspaper that “no fewer than 23 Nigerians were forced out of Port-Nolloth community on Sunday 26th May 2013 by some South African members of the community accusing them of dealing in drugs”.

According to Diliora Ndubisi, the spokesman of Nigerians, the leaders of the African National Congress (ANC) Youth League in the area instigated some community members to force them out of their home”.

“All the members of the community had a meeting on Friday on the need to curb the selling and usage of drugs in the community. On Sunday a teenager committed suicide in police custody and by Sunday some members of the community led by the ANC Youth League leader came to our houses asking us to leave the community”.

“They said we are the ones selling drugs to their children. They destroyed and looted our properties and one Nigerian was seriously beaten and was admitted in a hospital in Johannesburg”, Ndubisi said.

Brig. Gen. Francis Hender of the South Africa Police Service (SAPS) promised that no individual or group would be allowed to perform the duty of the police. “I will go to Port-Nolloth personally to assess the situation there, and a team of crime investigators will be assigned to instigate the cause of the attack on Nigerians and the lady mentioned would be invited for questioning, ``She is not a police officer and cannot be allowed to get away with her actions,’’ Hender said. 

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Consulate in Johannesburg, South Africa criticized this action. In the statement made by Mr. Okey Emuchey, the Consulate-General of Nigeria in Johannesburg labeling all Nigerians in their country as drug dealers is unacceptable. “In as much as we will not encourage our nationals to engage in criminal activities, it is not acceptable to us that some people should label all Nigerians as drug dealers”. He stated that “if any Nigerian is caught dealing in drugs he/she should be arrested and prosecuted”. He challenged individuals with information about any Nigerian dealing in drugs to inform the police for proper investigation and prosecution rather than taking the laws into their hands by attacking foreigners based on rumors.  

On the political front, the ANC has added its voice to condemn the unlawful act. Mr. Lebogang Abrans, ANC Regional Secretary, has apologized to the Nigerian Consul-General, Mr. Emuchay,  on the attack and said there was need to engage with the community on how to allow the displaced Nigerians return to their homes. “Since the incident occurred, we have been meeting with all stakeholders to find ways of resolving the problem and how the displaced Nigerians can go back to their homes and businesses”.

Also in contrast to Malema’s statement of non casualty of xenophobic attacks on Nigerians living in South Africa “Several dozen policemen busted into Anelechi Sideny’s home in the early hours of Friday  2nd August 2013”. They were caught on CCTV ransacking his home and allegedly assaulted him without confiscating anything. The Nigerian national is accusing police of xenophobia. Police scaled Sideny’s walls, bursting through the kitchen door with fire arms in hand.

“Sideny was made to lie face down as the officers searched the premises, with no search warrant; it was unclear what they were looking for”, reported in a report sent to The Nigerian Voice Newspaper by Mr Mojeed Biobaku Secretary Nigeria Union Western Cape on Wednesday 7th August 2013.

In addition, “A medical report shows that Sideny suffered soft-tissue injuries to his chest after allegedly being beaten by police in a room where there was no camera”

Mr. Lance Abem, a South African working in Nigeria responding to a YouTube video post on South Africa police brutality on an innocent Nigerian woman called for enlightenment campaigns that will “teach our people how to co-exist. They should start travelling so that they will see how to treat people”. Mr. Abem encouraged South Africans to visit Nigeria and experience Nigeria’s hospitality to foreigners. “You need to travel to this Nigeria that we tend to hate and see how hospitable and accepting they are. A foreigner in Nigeria gets more protection from the police than the citizens. I experienced this myself. That is why my heart bleeds when I see them go through what they do in SA. I am not saying that anyone who commits crime should not be punished, but it should be done within the confines of the law and not as if the person is an animal with no human right”.

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