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Top cop welcomes arrest of eight Nigerian nationals after Kimberley police attacked

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The provincial commissioner of the Northern Cape, Lieutenant-General Koliswa Otola, has welcomed the arrest of eight Nigerian nationals who allegedly attacked police officers and damaged SAPS vehicles in Kimberley.

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THE PROVINCIAL commissioner of the Northern Cape, Lieutenant-General Koliswa Otola, has welcomed the arrest of eight Nigerian nationals who allegedly attacked police officers and damaged SAPS vehicles in Kimberley.

The police were attacked by a large group of foreign nationals while they were arresting a Nigerian suspect, who was allegedly in possession of drugs, in Kimberley on Thursday night.

According to police spokesperson Colonel Cherelle Ehlers, at approximately 6pm, officers stopped and searched the Nigerian suspect in Elliot Street, allegedly uncovering a stash of illegal substances including mandrax tablets, dagga and crystal meth (tik). However, when the police tried to arrest the suspect, he allegedly resisted and assaulted a member of the police using a tyre strap.

The situation quickly escalated when a group of Nigerian nationals descended upon the scene. They attacked the officers and damaged police vehicles. In response, the police resorted to firing rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.

Ehlers said that one suspect was arrested for illegal possession of drugs and three suspects were arrested for public violence and detained at the Kimberley police station.

As the suspects were being processed, they allegedly broke windows at the police station, leading to additional charges of malicious damage to property.

Ehlers added that another group of Nigerian nationals later approached the police station and “threatened to retaliate”.

The operational commander issued a warning for the group to disperse, but upon doing so, they reportedly damaged police vehicles.

Four more suspects were subsequently arrested for malicious damage to property.

Ehlers said that Lieutenant-General Otola condemned this behaviour and stated that those who prevent the 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 Home Affairs to determine if they are legally or illegally in the country. The police will continue to stamp the state’s authority on the Northern Cape Province,” said Otola.

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