A 34-year-old Nigerian, Samuel Nkennaya, has been killed while another Nigerian, Chinonso Nwudo, is in critical condition in a South African hospital following mob attack.
Victor Ayanfe-Oyebanjo, Secretary of Mpumalanga Province branch of the Nigerian Union in South Africa, made the disclosure in a statement made available to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday.
He said that Nkennaya and Nwudo were attacked following accusations that both men kidnapped Chinonye, a six-year-old girl, who unknown to their attackers was Mr Nwudo’s daughter.
“It all started when Nwudo took his six-year-old daughter, Chinonye, to visit Nkennaya at White River town in the evening of April 27.
“Later, Nwudo and Nkennaya proceeded to buy food for Nwudo’s daughter, Chinonye, at KFC restaurant in the area,” he said.
Ayanfe-Oyebanjo said shortly after buying the food, some bystanders raised false alarm alleging that both men kidnapped the six year-old girl.
“Thereafter, the community did not bother to ask questions and immediately mobbed the two Nigerians.
“While they were being attacked, Nwudo kept on shouting that the girl was his daughter and pleaded that they speak to his South African wife to confirm his claim – which actually saved his life.
“The Police later intervened and called for backup to rescue the victims. Nkennaya died at the hospital on April 28, while Nwudo is in critical health condition,” he said.
Mr Ayanfe-Oyebanjo said that a week before the incident that two South Africans were murdered for allegedly kidnapping a child in the same area.
He said a murder case had been opened at the White River Police station and pleaded to Nigerians in the province to remain calm in the wake of the unprovoked attacks.
“The incident has been reported to NUSA’s national secretariat, while the union is currently seeking redress to ensure that the culprits were brought to book,” he said.
Adetola Olubajo, the president of NUSA, confirmed the killing to NAN.
Mr Nwudo’s wife, Katlekho Ndlovu, a South African national, also confirmed the incident to NAN on telephone from Mpumalanga Province.
According to her, Chinonye had been traumatised by the incident and was currently undergoing counselling in an undisclosed hospital.
“They (attackers) did not bother to ask her anything and didn’t even bother to remove her from the scene before beating her dad (Nwudo) unconscious. Chinonye’s dad is in the hospital while her uncle (Nkennaya) is dead,” she said amid tears.