Nigerians living in SA are tired of being blamed for crime as foreign nationals embark on marches
Concerns of high levels of crime allegedly being committed by Nigerians and other foreign nationals in Joburg have prompted members of the African Diaspora Forum (ADF) and Nigerian Citizens Association in SA (Nicasa) to embark on marches across the city this week.
Last week, Nicasa marched from Parktown North across Hillbrow to the Gauteng Legislature where they delivered their memorandum to the Community Safety Department.
KwaZulu-Natal spokesperson Bartholomew Eziagalo said Nicasa wished to categorically state that they condemned and stood against human trafficking, gender-based violence, drug dealing and all forms of violent crime.
“In an effort to maintain peaceful coexistence between all the people currently living in this country, Nicasa pledges support to the efforts of the Department of Community Safety and other relevant departments towards the fight against crime and ensuring safety in and around our communities,” said Eziagalo.
He said only a small percentage of Nigerians were involved in crime, which has tainted all his countrymen living in South Africa.
The marchers were carrying placards stating “Nigeria says no to drugs”, “Nigeria says no to human trafficking”, “Crime has no nationality”.
Receiving the memorandum on behalf of the Community and Safety MEC, the acting head Sipho Thanjekwayo said the department would work with all stakeholders to fight crime as crime has no colour or nationality.
Meanwhile, the ADF and other community-based organisations picketed in Yeoville, part of Joburg’s inner city yesterday, in an effort to end crime and to try to restore the area to its former status as a peaceful and progressive suburb.
ADF chairperson Dr Karim-Abdul Elgoni said crime, lack of proper policing and a host of other social ills have seen Yeoville, the cosmopolitan precinct of African communities in Joburg, slide from glitter to ruin during the past few years, as armed robberies, fraud and hijackings became commonplace.
“This has pushed out of Yeoville all the financial institutions, most of the fast-food outlets and other businesses, as the place has become a bastion of crime and this session seeks to bring back the sunshine to the suburb and make it bankable again,” said Elgon.
“It is against that background that the ADF, in coalition with other organisations including the ANC, African Conflict Resolution, Put South Africa First, have decided to go all-out and face the problem head-on.
“A number of intervention measures were agreed upon on the day, including a march meant to fight crime in the suburb on October 17.”
In its memorandum submitted to the Yeoville police station commander titled #NotInMyName some demands were: “We, the Yeoville Broader Community Forum and ADF and Yeoville Civil Society and Yeoville Residents and Business Community, note that acts of criminality, especially muggings, armed robberies, car thefts, car break-ins, fraud, hijackings, gender based violence, drug trafficking and kidnappings, assaults and murder, have reached levels that are unacceptable in Yeoville, resulting in all financial institutions and most businesses, including fast-food outlets, fleeing the suburb.
“Our most critical demand is that police, especially from Yeoville police station, must immediately do something in order to enable the residents of Yeoville to enjoy their right to life, doing business and living a life free of crime in both public and private places of Yeoville, including in their motor vehicle,” says part of the memorandum.