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By Chulumanco Mahamba

Digital Night Supervisor

Eight Nigerian nationals charged with attacking Kimberley Police Station (VIDEO)

Eight accused assailants face charges after assaulting officers and vandalizing property in a retaliatory act.

Eight Nigerian nationals have been formally charged with malicious injury to property, assault, and public violence after attacking Kimberley Police Station, police officers, and damaged vehicles last week.

Onogu Nwaemeka, Kelecho Oken, Ebot Kennedy, Chijioke Steven, Charles Aknaji, Umemba Sophuru, Amajoyi Tochukwu, and Charles Okerie Onyedikashi appeared in the Kimberley District Court on Monday.

The eight accused attacked police and damaged vehicles in retaliation for their fellow countryman being arrested, and they were demanding that he be released.

Saps Northern Cape provincial spokesperson, Colonel Cherelle Ehlers, said at the time of their arrest, the police were tracing information about one of them being in possession of drugs.

Mayhem broke out

While conducting the search, a large group of Nigerians allegedly attacked the police.

“Mayhem broke out as the police tried to contain the situation, and the accused started to attack the police,” said NPA regional spokesperson Mojalefa Senokoatsane.

The Saps confirmed that the police had to fire rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.

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One suspect was arrested for illegal possession of drugs, and three suspects were arrested for public violence and detained at Kimberley Police Station, but during the suspects’ processing, the men allegedly broke windows at the station.

Another group threatened to retaliate

“Another group of Nigerians later approached the police station and threatened to retaliate. The operational commander warned the group to disperse. However, upon dispersing, the group damaged police vehicles,” Ehlers said.

Subsequently, tactical police reinforcements were called, and the four suspects were arrested for malicious damage to property.

The Northern Cape Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Koliswa Otola, condemned the suspect’s behaviour and said that those who prevent the police from exercising their duties will be dealt with harshly.

“We will not allow such behaviour. We are processing the suspects and working with Home Affairs to determine if they are legally or illegally in the country. Police will continue to stamp the authority of the state in the Northern Cape province,” Otola said.

The eight men were remanded on Monday until their next court appearance on 26 April.

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