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Cape Town - The Nigerian consul-general in Cape Town, Okey Emuchay, has hit out at the police over the death of a Nigerian in custody.
And he says this is “not the first time Nigerians have been assaulted by members of the South African police”.
The death of Obinna Ugboaja in custody on January 1 has angered the local Nigerian community.
Emuchay said they would follow up the case and ensure justice was done.
“It is an unfortunate incident.”
He said the Nigerian consulate would follow the incident and ensure that justice was done.
Jason Osuafor, former president of the Nigerian Union in the Western Cape, said four Nigerians had died in SAPS custody in the past two years, and he claimed none had been thoroughly investigated.
Azubuike Okparaugo, current president of the Nigerian Union in the province, said another Nigerian had been badly beaten up by the police in Cape Town on January 5.
And he knew of two cases in Joburg which involved police brutality against Nigerians.
Last Friday the local Nigerian Union and Frontline Africa marched to Parliament demanding an end to police brutality against foreigners.
Okparaugo believed the march had drawn attention to the matter so that appropriate action could be taken.
According to the Independent Complaints Directorate’s 2011/2012 annual report, 932 people died in police custody or as a result of police action.
The Nigerian Union claimed that police brutality against Nigerians was usually swept under the carpet because of the false assumption that all Nigerians were criminals.
Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk declined to comment, other than to say an inquest docket had been opened into Ugboaja’s death and the new Independent Police Investigative Directorate was investigating the matter.