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‘It was absolute chaos’: Eight Nigerian nationals arrested for attacking SAPS officers, vandalising police station and cars

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The South African Police Service (SAPS) said eight Nigerian nationals have been arrested in Kimberley after they attacked police officers and damaged SAPS vehicles on Thursday night.

The incident, according to SAPS, erupted from an incident where police officers were following up on information and whereabouts of a Nigerian nationals alleged to be in possession of drugs.

“While conducting this search, a large group of Nigerians attacked police. Police fired rubber bullets to disperse the crowd,” said SAPS Northern Cape provincial spokesperson, Colonel Cherelle Ehlers.

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.

Police have arrested eight Nigerian nationals on charges including possession of drugs and public violence. File Picture: Ayanda Ndamane / Independent Newspapers

“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.”

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

Speaking to on Friday morning, Ehlers said police are still collating information on the number of damaged SAPS vehicles.

“It was absolute chaos last night,” she added.

Meanwhile, Northern Cape provincial commissioner of police, Lieutenant General Koliswa Otola has welcomed the arrests.

Otola condemned the incident and added that anyone who prevents police from exercising their duties “will be dealt with harshly”.

“We will not allow such lawless behaviour. We are processing the suspects and working with the Department of 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,” said Otola.

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