The Consulate General of Nigeria in Johannesburg says that the degree of looting and arson is unprecedented in the history of democratic South Africa.
In a statement released this week, the Mission describes the unrest, looting, and vandalism that took place in mainly Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal as opportunistic criminality.
“The degree of looting and arson is unprecedented in the history of democratic South Africa. The brazen actions of looters and arsonists is indeed symptomatic of a deeper malaise and mental poverty, which cannot rationalise nor justify the situation.
It is apparent that the looters and arsonists were only happy to take the opportunity provided by the incarceration of former president Jacob Zuma to commit mayhem in what has been described as opportunistic criminality.”
The Mission has urged Nigerians to refrain from venturing into the flashpoints and exercise caution.
“Whereas the situation is calming down gradually, Nigerians have been continually urged to refrain from venturing into the flashpoints, and to exercise utmost caution on certain routes. With regards to those whose shops have been looted or burnt, it is observed that the looting and arson did not particularly target Nigerians or foreign-owned businesses alone. Nonetheless, we sympathise for the loss of property and merchandise.
Whereas the Mission is currently taking stock of the loss incurred by Nigerians in the mayhem, with a view to seeking appropriate redress, where possible. Nigerians are once again reminded to insure their shops and goods to ensure that they can be indemnified of loses in these circumstances. The Mission has also opened advisory and counselling services for those affected.”
The Mission says it believes that the actions of government and intervention of the army will restore normalcy soon.
The Mission continues to urge Nigerians to remain law-abiding and refrain from being provoked to take laws into their hands. The Mission believes that actions taken by the South African government so far, coupled with the intervention of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will restore normalcy in the next few days.”