By Desmond Ejibas
Another Nigerian has been killed in South Africa, bringing the number of those killed since January 2016 to 121.
Mr Chibuzo Nwankwo, 42-year-old Enugu State native was shot in the early hours of Friday at a local bar in Kempton Park, Johannesburg, following a disagreement with an unknown person.
The Nigerian community in South Africa on Saturday confirmed the killing of Nwankwo.
The community said that Nwankwo`s death brings to 121 the number of Nigerians killed in South Africa since January 2016.
Mr Habib Miller, the Publicity Secretary of the Nigerian Union in South Africa, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the telephone from Pretoria on Saturday.
“The deceased, a patron of the bar, got drunk and started harassing a female worker.
“Information available to the union said that Nwankwo was chased out by security personnel, but he kept on coming back; became very aggressive and rude before the ugly incident occurred,’’ he said.
Miller said that the South African police later intervened and arrested the murder suspect.
“A murder case has been opened and investigation has started. We call on Nigerians to be calm and allow the law to take its course,” Miller said.
He said the union was against at any form of violence, adding that it would monitor the case to ensure that justice prevailed.
The President of Nigerian Union in South Africa, Mr Adetola Olubajo, had called on the South African authorities to arrest and prosecute killers of Nigerians in that country.
Olubajo blamed the incessant killings of Nigerians in South Africa on lack of prosecution of offenders by the authorities.
Olubajo said that the inability of the government to bring to book those perpetrating the heinous crimes against Nigerians has given the criminals free hands.
“Lack of prosecution of these criminal activities has actually embolden a lot of people to feel that they can kill Nigerians without any consequence,” he said.
He expressed concern that government’s apathy to arrest and prosecute the killers has made the situation more complex.
“People are embolden to perpetrate the crime with impunity and without consequences, because of lack of prosecution.
“When there are no arrests, no prosecutions, criminals will have effrontery to go into crime without fear of retribution.
“What we are demanding is that whosoever commits any crime should be prosecuted to serve as a deterrent to others,” he said.
Olubajo also urged both Nigerian and South African authorities to work together to address the situation and reduce criminal activities against Nigerians in South Africa.
He, however, called Nigerians in South Africa to be law abiding and shun criminal activities.