South Africa News

Bail denied for 8 Nigerian nationals accused of assaulting SAPS members, damaging police station

The Kimberley Magistrates’ Court in the Northern Cape has denied bail to eight Nigerian nationals who were charged with malicious damage to property, interference with the law, assault, and public violence.

Last month, the publication reported that the South African Police Service (SAPS) had arrested the eight Nigerian nationals in Kimberley after they allegedly attacked police officers and damaged SAPS vehicles.

According to SAPS, the incident erupted when police officers were following up on information regarding the whereabouts of Nigerian nationals alleged to be in possession of drugs.

On Monday, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in Northern Cape said the case against the eight accused men was postponed to July.

“The eight accused, Onogu Nwaemeka, Kelecho Oken, Ebot Kennedy, Chijioke Steven, Charles Aknaji, Umemba Sophuru, Amajoyi Tochukwu, and Charles Okerie Onyedikashi were arrested after they attacked the Kimberley police station as well as members of the South African Police Service,” said NPA regional spokesperson Mojalefa Senokoatsane.

“It is alleged that on the day of the incident, the police had arrested their countryman and they demanded that he not be apprehended by the police.”

The NPA stated that mayhem broke out “as the police tried to contain the situation,” with the Nigerian nationals allegedly attacking the police and damaging state property.

“Specialised tactical police reinforcements were called and the eight accused were arrested,” said Senokoatsane.

“The matter has been postponed to 18 July 2024, and the accused will appear in court through the utilisation of an audio-visual remand system (AVR) during their next court appearance.”

Last month, SAPS Northern Cape provincial spokesperson, Colonel Cherelle Ehlers said police had to fire rubber bullets to disperse the angry crowd.

She said one suspect was arrested for illegal possession of drugs, and three others were arrested for public violence and detained at the Kimberley police station.

“During processing (inside the SAPS building), the suspects broke windows at the station. Additional charges of malicious damage to property were added,” said Ehlers.

She said moments later, 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,” she said.

Another four Nigerian nationals were arrested on charges of malicious damage to property.

-IOL

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