Angry residents in Rosettenville, south of Johannesburg, have burnt 15
houses either belonging to or being rented by Nigerians, foreign
nationals, claiming immigrants had turned the neighbourhood into a drug
Some shops belonging to foreign nationals in the area were also looted.
South African residents in the area claim Nigerians had illegally taken
over most properties and turned them into drug and prostitution dens.
The African Diaspora Forum (ADM) chairperson, Mr Marc Gbaffou, confirmed the attacks and blamed Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba, for his inflammatory comments, reports AfricaReview.com
Early last December, Mr Mashaba reportedly told a media conference that
illegal immigrants got there criminally and should be treated as such.
On Friday, he visited Rosettenville where he made claims that foreign
nationals were using girls as young as nine as prostitutes in ‘drug
“According to community members, these homes are illegally occupied by
Nigerian foreign nationals who run the homes as brothels and have girls
as young as nine years old working as prostitutes. Many of the women in
these brothels are also alleged to have no official identification
documentation,” said Mr Mashaba.
Mr Gbaffou said it was reckless for the mayor to make such a statement without proof.
“What proof does he have that foreigners are running these brothels? His
remarks are very inflammatory, and it makes no difference that he has
diverted from illegal immigrants to drug peddling. It is very dangerous
and we see it as propaganda of hatred,” he said.
A community leader, Mr Andile Tshem, called on residents to desist from
violence, adding that it was high time law enforcement agents took
action against criminals.
“We don’t encourage this at all, you cannot correct a wrong with another
wrong. South African people must not be living on the streets when
foreigners are using houses as brothels,” he said.
Police have arrested a man found in one of the houses that were set alight in Rosettenville.
The suspect, who is expected to be charged with arson and public violence, will appear in court on Monday.