The Nigerian High Commission in South Africa has warned its citizens who are involved in acts of crime in the country that the law should take its course. This follows a series of attacks by the public on Nigerian nationals, accusing them of drug peddling and human trafficking.

Consulate General for the Nigerian High Commission in South Africa, Godwin Adama said this on the sidelines of the court appearance of fourteen Nigerian nationals in Rustenburg.

The 14 allegedly stormed the Rustenburg Police Station demanding protection and allegedly assaulted local residents last month.

They are also accused of public violence and illegal gathering. During their appearance the court was full to capacity by members of the public, police and delegates from Nigerian High Commission. A high police contingency was deployed to monitor the situation inside and outside the court with their vehicles including nyalas.

Police closed some roads near the court including Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo and Klopper for safety reasons.

Adama says Nigerian nationals who have committed crime in this country should face the full might of the law.

“We discourage it wherever we find it and at the same time, we believe that when a Nigerian is involved in any form of crime. It should be the same process that is happening right now. He should be arrested, trailed with in the process of the law, if that is done we do not have a problem.”

The legal representative for the accused, Omoreige Ogboro from Ogboro Attorneys,  says they will study the merits of the case before the trial resumes.

“It is their Constitutional rights to look at the contents of the case after it has been disclosed to us. Thereafter we will see if we can make a representation to the prosecution, then we will take it from there and that is what we stand for now.”

The case has been transferred to Rustenburg Regional Court for trial on 4 April 2017.  Local residents say they will continue to picket in front of court during their next appearance.