Saturday, June 10, 2023

South Africa Shutdown: NICASA president-general says Nigerians safe

“The EFF continued on their demand for the president to step down, citing incompetence, crippling electricity load shedding and the alleged phala phala serious misconduct.”

• March 21, 2023
SOUTH AFRICA PROTESTERS[Credit: Channels Television]

On Tuesday, Benjamin Okoli, president-general of Nigerian Citizens Association South Africa (NICASA), confirmed that no Nigerian-owned business was affected by the ongoing shutdown in the country. 

Mr Okoli confirmed this in an interview against the backdrop of the South Africa shutdown.

According to him, the opposition political party, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), carried out its plan to shut down South Africa’s business activities on Monday.

“About a month ago, the party announced plans to shut down businesses and activities in the country, arising from their assertion that President Cyril Ramaphosa must step down as President of South Africa. Their call for the president to step down was because of the ‘Phala Phala farm robbery’, known as the Farmgate scandal,” the Nigerian explained.

The NICASA leader added, “Phala Phala is a farm owned by President Ramaphosa in Bela Bela, in Limpopo Province, that was robbed of some $580,000 on May 9, 2020. The money was stolen from a sofa on the farm by two unidentified men. It was alleged that the president concealed the robbery and did not report the matter to the police.”

The money was also allegedly not disclosed to the South Africa Revenue Service, said Mr Okoli. He noted that the question by EFF “is why the president lied to the nation by not reporting to the police authority.”

According to the NICASA president-general, in 2022, a parliamentary panel report had found the president guilty of serious misconduct, but the president sought a judicial review. 

Mr Okoli, however, noted that the Public Protector did not find the president guilty of any misconduct.

“The EFF continued on their demand for the president to step down, citing incompetence, crippling electricity load shedding and the alleged phala phala serious misconduct,” he stated.

Mr Okoli disclosed that 57 people had been arrested in connection with the shutdown in the country.

“The EFF shutdown was hugely successful, keeping business premises closed and with commuters afraid. Few days ago, NICASA issued movement advisory to the Nigerian community in South Africa,” added the Nigerian association leader. “To guide them on their business and general conduct during the day of the shutdown, the high commission and the consulate issued similar advisories to Nigerians.”

But Mr Okoli stated that there had not been any report of a Nigerian victim or Nigerian-owned business affected during the shutdown. 

“We hope it remains safe for Nigerians,” he said.


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