SPECIAL STORY-On Nigerians, Drug Cartels and Xenophobia in South Africa
By Ifeanyi Amadi
I have a lot of problem with the authenticity and accuracy of these stories, I’m a graduate of the University of the Witwatersrand, now the University of Johannesburg, I am married to a South African, I worked for the African Union from inception until 2009 when I decided to relocate.
From 1996-2009, that was 13 years of living in South Africa, by virtue of having studied and worked in South Africa, I speak Zulu fluently. Also, due to the nature of the work, it afforded me the opportunity to travel extensively within South Africa and Africa generally. So I can conveniently and confidently say that, I know South Africa and its people, very well.
Now, the issues raised in this write up concerning drugs is untrue, yes, Nigerians are involved in drugs, but they didn’t start it or even are they the kingpins of drugs, but the thing is the “Igbos”(many are from other Nigerian tribes but tagged Igbo once in diaspora) who are the larger number in South Africa are like the children of the Third Reich, damned for what they are and damned for what they’re not.
Encapsulating the drug business in South Africa and prostitution, it would be wise to recognize that drug business was going on before the earliest Nigerians settled in SA, in Cape town, gang wars started in Cape flats amongst the colored people long before Nigerians got there, in Durban, there was drug trade by Indians from Pine town to the Promenade long before Nigerians saw the Indian Ocean in Kwazulu Natal, (note Durban is not a capital city like JHB. Pietermaritzburg is the capital city)
Now, in JHB, drug business by Nigerians are heavily situated in places like, Hillbrow, Berea, Yeovil, Orange grove, Ellis park, Rossettenville. These are areas heavily populated by foreigners of diverse origin.
Let me also shine some light on prostitution before I conclude. Prostitution is a right of passage of 90% of South Africans, white, black, Indian, colored, the remaining 10% are Khoisan.
An average South African girl of 15 years already has a child before the family will now aid her to move from the locations to JHB, Durban, Port Elisabeth, East London, Cape town or Tswane, which is by the way, the real name of Pretoria.
Native South Africans are extremely poor and as a result, crime and prostitution thrive in the locations (informal settlements) like Soweto, Alexandra, Tembisa, Lenasia and Eldorado park in Gauteng province, with JHB as capital city. Lamontville, port Shepstone, Umlazi, Umtata, Bluff, and other locations spread out in the Zululand, feed the crime and whore needs of Durban KZN. While in the Cape Town is fed by, Gugulethu, Kylitsha, cape flats and neighboring East London and Port Elizabeth.
The other provinces, like Bloemfontein, Limpopo and basically all of the former Northern Transvaal, Boputhatswana, flock to JHB, supported by migrating prostitutes from Namibian, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi and a smattering handful from Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho and Angola, not forgetting assassins from Mozambique and Zimbabwe. These complete the violent crimes and Prostitution ring in South Africa.
Looking at drugs holistically, Nigerians, Tanzanians, Indians, Pakistanis’ Italians and the Boer South Africans are indictable here, but in different categories.
The drug business is in three categories:-
1. Importers, (drugs are not indigenous to South Africa) so they are imported from South America, Asia and Europe to SA. You might be wondering Europe? Yes, Europe, drugs is not restricted to Cocaine and Opium, inclusive also are, Fentanyl, Mandrax, Ecstasy, Acid paper e.t.c these come from Europe, they all find their way to South Africa and somebody brought them into the country and just about 10% of importers are Nigerians, are you now wondering who is then responsible for the remaining 90%? South African whites/Boers, yes most drug imports come from Holland which is the Boers original home.
Have you ever wondered why there haven’t been and major drug bust in the Airports or anywhere else in South Africa? Simple, it’s a Cartel, run by Indigenes, the Police, Immigration and Customs.
2. These are the middlemen, who now buy 50-60-70grammes, break it into 5gs and in turn sell to the third and final group in the drug-dealing chain, called ” Ndi-Atuke” .
3. Now, the third and final group who take the major risk in the business are the ones who may buy 5 or 10g and cook a part to sell as rocks and the other as powder, this group are the street urchins who market in small scale to whoever can afford it and this group are individuals that cannot afford to be cartels as they are constantly harassed by the Police and the Mafia, to pay protection money.
This third group, some of them team up with prostitutes to bring their customers (mainly whites) to buy from them. So the prostitutes are already addicts, who are no longer accepted as residents in strip clubs like Summit club, Dorchester and other such clubs that dot the cities of South Africa like a reminder of its immediate gory past, they are the prostitutes and all Pinch sellers are guilty of such association and its not restricted to Nigerians.
Now to the reason why Nigerians are targets for this Xenophobic attacks are two tiered.
1. Once upon a time on Etv South Africa, there was a Talk show named “Third Degree” hosted by an Indian lady who was trying to divert attention of criminal acts from her stock to Nigerians, first of such shows was a Massacre that took place in a gay club called little Caesars, in the ensuing documentary, she blamed it on Nigerians and drugs, but when the case was finally busted, no Nigerian was involved. It was done by whites and Indians who hated Homosexuality.
The second documentary of note was the Moody killing, Moody, an Indian then a student in the University, reported his white girlfriend missing, and Mrs. Pillay of Third-degree concocted a story that Nigerians abducted her because of debt from drugs. At the conclusion of the investigation, when the body was found, the autopsy indicated that the girl was not a drug user and that Moodley himself strangled and dumped her body before reporting her missing, again, no Nigerian involved.
2. The second and most probable reason (which irritates me) Nigerian drug dealers in Hillbrow are lousy, In fact, if you see them misbehaving in South Africa, you’d think they’re in the village and drug sale is a legal business. Other nationals more involved and richer are absolutely living nondescript lives, but their Nigerian counterparts in the lower rung are living flamboyantly with no obvious source of income.
In conclusion, Nigerians are not what they were described in that write up, but they have simply constituted themselves into a nuisance in South Africa. If they are the biggest drug dealers in South Africa, they would all be in prison by now.
There are lots of Nigerian professionals living and working in South Africa, even the face of Vodacom, the largest telecom service provider is a Nigerian.
There are so many Nigerian Doctors, lecturers, businessmen, Engineers holding places of pride in the economy and society.
Finally, xenophobia has nothing to do with drugs, but lots to do with envy. They came to loot and Kill, do you fight crime with another crime?