A section of the Nigerian community in South Africa is currently agitated and plans to stage a massive protest in that country and Nigeria over alleged physical abuse and threat to kill of a 25-year old Nigerian resident in that country by the son of a powerful female politician who is said to have overwhelming influence on South African Police.
According to a report by a local tabloid in South Africa ‘Sunday World Newspaper’ published 20th May, 2018, the victim, Williams Okpara junior is the son of Williams Okpara, a football legend and Nigeria/Orlando Pirates goalkeeper who achieved great exploits for South Africa in the round leather game.
A follow up by this paper indicates that the matter is raising tempers in the Sandton District as tension is said to have mounted fuelling speculations that anything can happen any moment, especially in view of the many number of Nigerians that have been brutally murdered in South Africa in the past few years, some over minor disagreements.
The local report had it that Williams Okpara junior was in April assaulted and physically abused by one Mzamo Tony Nkosi and his ex-girlfriend, Philisiwe Pride Nkomo on grounds that the Nigerian verbally insulted their relative.
Instead of fighting back, Williams Okpara was reported to have gone and opened a case of common assault and intimidation against Mzamo Tony Nkosi and Philisiwe Pride Nkomo.
In the affidavit attached to his statement, Okpara Junior stated that he was manhandled and punched several times while he was walking with his lawyer and mother Stella outside the Wynberg Magistrate Court in the District.
The affidavit also stated that his lawyer and mother tried to stop the two from further assaulting him but they continued and chased him down the passage of the court building up to the parking lot outside.
But the most worrisome aspect of the entire case is the threat to life of Williams Junior as contained in the affidavit which among others things said that “While all these things were happening I was keeping quite,” adding that his mother tried to drive the two assailants away but that Mzamo ran up to her car’s window and shouted, saying, “Do you think it is over? I know where you are staying.”
The newspaper stated that anytime such statements are made by hoodlums or thugs, it often ends in bad news, and therefore the reason why the matter is not seen lightly by both the Williams family and the Nigerian community in the District who are demanding justice by putting Mzamo to trial as well as assurances that nothing unwholesome should happen to the family.
On April, 27, 2018, following the case reported by the young Nigerian, Police was sent to arrest the two but Mzamo’s mother Sizakele Nkosi Malobane who is a Member of the Executive Council (MEC) of the Johannesburg (Gauteng) Community Safety (Vigilante) used her influence and position to block the Police from arresting the boy.
She also went to the Police station where she insulted the female Police officer handling the case, Sergeant Lydia Marlapeng, attached to Alexandra police station and threatened to physically beat her up if she attempts again to arrest or invite her son to the Police accusing the Officer of taking bribe from Williams Okpara, the Nigerian football legend and father of the assaulted Nigerian.
The newspaper report which said that Nkoli was known as ‘political Police boss in the province added that she called the Police Officer Sergeant Lydia Marlapeng, stupid and incompetent.
The report stated that Police spokesman Justice Malatji confirmed that Okpara opened a case of common assault and intimidation at the station against Mzamo and his woman and that while the woman Nkomo appeared in court, the boy has refused to appear in court.
The Police spokesperson was quoted also to have said that the incident involving the female police sergeant and the powerful woman was internal matter which Police cannot confirm or deny.
“The investigating officers have refused to comment on the matter,” the police spokesperson was reported to have added. The report also said that a police officer also attached to the station confirmed that the Police woman has lodged a complaint against Sizakele Nkosi Malobane.
“The matter has been forwarded to the province by the station commander,” the source was quoted to have said.
According to the newspaper report, the same officer who didn’t want to be mentioned revealed that the investigating officer was shaken when she arrived at the station following the way she was rough handled by the powerful Sizakele Nkosi Malobane.
The report also said that the boy, Mzamo out-rightly refused to speak to the media on the matter but demanded that questions be sent to him through SMS which he eventually refused to respond to.