- Title: A victim of the latest xenophobic attacks in South Africa takes stock
- Date: 6th September 2019
- Summary: JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA (SEPTEMBER 5, 2019) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) RABA RABA AUTOSPACE CAR DEALERSHIP OWNER, BASIL ONUIGBO, SAYING: "When I was at home, back home at school, my father paid for school, paid for South African apartheid for me. He paid for me. We paid it in the school. We paid it in the school. I can still remember during the time of the regime of President Babangida, Ibrahim Babangida, he was the president then. We paid it in the school. My father paid it. They say our brothers in South Africa they are crying they are suffering, that we have to pay this money. So every primary school, every secondary school, we pay that money. Ask anybody I paid that money." VARIOUS OF BURNT CAR VARIOUS OF ONUIGBO LOOKING ON AS A GROUP OF MEN TRY TO MOVE BURNT CAR
- Embargoed: 20th September 2019 14:29
- Keywords: Xenophobic attacks Nigerian victims looting Afrophobia riots
- Location: JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
- City: JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
- Country: South Africa
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA003AVISITZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Nigerian entrepreneur Basil Onuigbo stands among the ruins of the car dealership he founded.
Onuigbo is one of the foreign nationals who saw his once thriving business reduced to ashes and debris, after rioters looted shops, burned tyres and blocked road junctions in South Africa's commercial capital, Johannesburg on Monday (September 2) - the second outbreak of urban rioting in a week.
Onuigbo has been living in South Africa since 2005.
The 43-year-old founded Raba Raba Autospace in Malvern, Johannesburg, after years of working odd jobs to support his family.
"We didn't come to the shop on Sunday. On Sunday, I didn't come to the shop because I was very scared. Even my fellow colleague they never come to the shop. Then on Monday, we come here, we see that all is damaged. They burnt the shop on Sunday, then in the afternoon again, in the afternoon on Sunday they went upstairs again and put it on; put another fire again to see how heartless somebody is. You burnt this place, it's not enough for you, you still go back again in the following day evening, burnt the place again, put on more fire. You understand? Show me the love. Tell me how does love goes in there. There's no brotherly love there. We are all one Africa. We are all the same. Same blood. I'm not even say maybe I'm a white man, we are the same blood of South Africa," he said.
Police were unable to say what had triggered the violence, although unemployment at close to 30%, widespread poverty and income disparities have all been blamed for recent disturbances and attacks on immigrants.
Last week, hundreds of protesters in the administrative capital Pretoria set fire to buildings, looted mostly foreign-owned businesses and clashed with police, who fired rubber bullets at the crowds.
South African government officials have up to now largely blamed the attacks on criminals. But Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor acknowledged some of it was being driven by "Afrophobia" - resentment of other Africans living and working there.
As Onuigbo, tries to piece his life together, he wonders what happened to a nation that once received so much support during the apartheid era.
Onuigbo remembers when his father contributed to what was then known as the Southern Africa Relief Fund (SAFR), a programme providing direct financial aid to the now-ruling African National Congress (ANC).
"When I was at home, back home at school, my father paid for school, paid for South African apartheid for me. He paid for me. We paid it in the school. We paid it in the school. I can still remember during the time of the regime of President Babangida, Ibrahim Babangida, he was the president then. We paid it in the school. My father paid it. They say our brothers in South Africa they are crying they are suffering, that we have to pay this money. So every primary school, every secondary school, we pay that money. Ask anybody I paid that money," he added.
The xenophobic attacks have claimed at least 10 lives, two of which were immigrants, as well as businesses owned by foreign nationals.
Over 400 people have been arrested in connection to the violence.
(Shafiek Tassiem, Lisa Ntungicimpaye)
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