Nigerians in South Africa Unite: Protest Against Police Brutality Echoes Across Johannesburg

The protesters called for justice concerning a Nigerian citizen who, they allege, had been involved in selling drugs and was regularly extorted by the police

Nigerian residents in South Africa organized a protest march in Johannesburg, denouncing the brutality and extrajudicial killings of Nigerians by the South African police.

The protest organised by the Nigerian Citizens Association in South Africa, tagged “Protest march against brutality, intimidation and harassment, violent damage to business properties, robbery, assault, and death of our citizens in the hands of South African police,” was held at Peter Roos Park, Empire Road, Parktown, JHB, on Monday.

The decision to organize a protest was not taken lightly, considering the challenges and risks associated with such endeavors. The Nigerian Citizens Association in South Africa recognized the gravity of the situation, understanding that silence would only perpetuate the cycle of violence and injustice. The protest served as a powerful reminder that the Nigerian community in South Africa is no longer willing to tolerate the mistreatment of its members.

The protestors, representing a diverse cross-section of the Nigerian diaspora, came together with a unified voice, demanding justice, accountability, and an end to the brutal treatment meted out to their community by South African law enforcement. The rallying cry echoed not only through the streets of Johannesburg but reverberated across social media platforms, garnering support from the global Nigerian diaspora and human rights activists.

The protesters called for justice concerning a Nigerian citizen who, they allege, had been involved in selling drugs and was regularly extorted by the police. However, on the day he informed them that he couldn’t provide the usual bribe, they purportedly killed him.

Narrating during the protest how the young Nigerian was killed, one of the protesters said, “All of us were here this morning, and this particular WDI arrived. When they saw this guy, they were chasing him.

“Always, more than four to eight times, any time they caught this boy, they took all his money. Every time. Today, this guy didn’t have money, so he started running, and he had only one ganger (narcotics) he was smoking on his hand.

“They chased him to Taxi Reck; we all went there, and they grabbed this boy, handcuffed him behind, and started beating him. They brought a plastic bucket, put it on his head, and poured tear gas on him.

“I confronted them, but they said they were doing their job. I want to know if their job is to kill somebody or to protect human beings. It is an injustice, and it doesn’t work like that. We are all human beings.

“South Africans are in Nigeria, but nobody touches them. Nobody ever heard that anyone in Nigeria hurt a South African. Why are they harming us? We are human beings, not chickens.”

Another protester said, “Normally, if they meet you on the street, if you find them something, they will let you go and do your things. It is the job of the police, we know.

“So he (the deceased) didn’t have the money at that time because it was too early and he had not sold anything (drugs), and he told them to come back, but they locked him and put the plastic on his face so he couldn’t breathe. That was how he collapsed and died because of 50 Rands.”

Also speaking on police brutality, violence, and killings of Nigerians in South Africa, a Nigerian who identified himself as the Alma King of Nigeria, South Africa, His Royal Majesty Eze Ndigbo, asked the South African Minister of Police what was happening in the country.

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