Rustenburg hawkers closed business ahead of Nigerian men court appearance

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RUSTENBURG, February 9 – Hawkers in Rustenburg did not open for business ahead of the appearance of 14 Nigerian nationals on charges of public violence in the Rustenburg Magistrate’s Court on Friday.

Stalls in front of the taxi rank were closed as hawkers were expected to join taxi drivers to protest to urge the court not to grant the men bail.

The Nigerian men are accused of public violence, for allegedly blocking the Rustenburg police station on January 21, this after they claimed they went to the police station after they had been attacked but had received no help from the police. On the same day, some of them allegedly launched revenge attacks on locals in Rustenburg Noord and Waterval, damaging three cars, and assaulting and robbing people.

This came after taxi drivers spearheaded a “raid” on houses suspected of operating as brothels and drug dens. Eight guesthouses owned by Nigerians were torched in that raid.

The men are conducting their own defence after their lawyer pulled out of the case for security reasons.

The court had ordered that their names and photographs must not be published.

Taxi drivers had already filled the court to capacity ahead of the appearance of the suspects.

– African News Agency (ANA)