IF SOUTH AFRICANS LOOT AND KILL NIGERIANS,SHALL WE STRIKE BACK ON SHOPRITE MALLS AND MTN?

 

A Nigerian migrant comes under attack outside a church in Pretoria on Saturday [James Oatway/Reuters]

Nigerian community in South Africa calls for protection after reports of renewed ‘xenophobic’ violence in Pretoria West.

Members of Nigeria’s community in South Africa have raised concerns over renewed anti-immigrant violence, appealing to authorities to intervene before the situation gets out of control.

Nigeria’s presidency on Monday called the South African government to step in to stop what it said were “xenophobic attacks” following recent reports of violence against Nigerians and other nationals in the capital, Pretoria.

The Nigerian Union South Africa (NUSA) on Tuesday confirmed that Nigerian homes and businesses in Pretoria West had been attacked in several late-night incidents in recent days.

“Homes and shops of Nigerians were targeted and looted in the events of past few days,” Emeka Ezinteje Collins, national public relations officer of NUSA, told Al Jazeera, citing at least 10 such attacks.

He added: “Our people and other foreigners are apparently living in fear of the unknown as the hoodlums have promised” more attacks from Friday, when a group called the “Mamelodi concerned residents” is reportedly planning to hold a march against foreign nationals.

NUSA also said that some of its members had received threatening phone calls asking for payment to protect their houses and businesses.

“We have also received reports from our members of receiving threatening anonymous calls requesting that money be paid to avert destruction of their properties,” Collins said.

“We implore the South African and Nigerian authorities to intervene early and save the situation before it spills out of hand.”

‘Angry residents’

South African police said on Tuesday at least 20 shops possibly belonging to immigrants were looted in Pretoria overnight, but they could not confirm if the attacks had deliberately targeted foreigners.

“There are allegations that these shops belong to foreign nationals,” police spokeswoman Brigadier Mathapelo Peters told the Reuters news agency.

“It is alleged that the community members are saying that these shops were used for drug dealing, but that is unconfirmed. We will only be able to start a formal investigation once the shop owners come forward.”

Anti-immigrant violence has flared sporadically in South Africa against a background of near-record unemployment, with foreigners being accused of taking jobs from locals and getting involved in crime.

“We are sick and tired of foreigners who are coming to sell drugs and kill our people, we can’t let the community go down like this,” an unemployed man in his mid-twenties, who declined to be named, told Reuters.

The attacks in Pretoria West come a few weeks after residents in Rosetenville, a suburb in Johannesburg, reportedly torched properties belonging to Nigerians and other foreigners which allegedly were being used for drug dealing and human trafficking.

“The Rosetenville unrest is replicating in Pretoria West,” the African Diaspora Forum said in a statement last week.

“Those who are living in the area are advised to be careful. Cars and houses are set alight by angry residents claiming to get rid of drugs and prostitution. No one has been arrested after two houses were set alight, various homes raided by Pretoria West community members.”

‘Dire consequences’

Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Nigerian president’s adviser on foreign affairs and the diaspora, said on Monday the South African government must take “decisive and definitive measures to protect Nigerians and other African nationals” within its borders.

She also called on the African Union to weigh in on the violence, adding: “Further attacks without any reprimand may have dire consequences”.

Dabiri-Erewa said there was a need for the continental body to “intervene urgently”, claiming that in the last two years “about 116” Nigerians had been killed, including 20 last year.

“This is unacceptable to the people and government of Nigeria.”

There was no independent verification of the claimed number of deaths.

According to NUSA, there are about 800,000 Nigerians in South Africa, many of them living in Johannesburg.

The community was hit badly by the wave of xenophobic violence that hit the country in April 2015, but South African police said only seven Nigerians died.

An independent watchdog has said 640 people died from police brutality or in custody in South Africa.

In April 2015, Nigeria recalled its top diplomat in South Africa to discuss the anti-immigrant attacks that sent hundreds of foreigners fleeing to safety camps, as authorities sent in soldiers to quell unrest in Johannesburg and Durban.

Source: Nigerians in S Africa ‘living in fear’ after attacks | South Africa News | Al Jazeera

Grammy-winning jazz legend Al Jarreau dies


Jazz Legend Al Jarreau Dead at 76 Following Hospitalization for Exhaustion

Al Jarreau, a seven-time Grammy Award-winning singer, died Sunday at a Los Angeles hospital. He was 76.

According to a statement from his manager Joe Gordon published by Ebony magazine, the singer was surrounded by family and friends at the time of his passing.

His loved ones asked that in lieu of flowers or gifts, donations be made the Wisconsin Foundation for School Music, an organization that supports music opportunities, teachers, and scholarships for students in Milwaukee and throughout Wisconsin.

Last week, updates on Jarreau’s Twitter account announced he had entered a hospital for exhaustion and was forced to retire from touring “with complete sorrow.”

“The medical team has instructed that he cannot perform any of his remianing 2017 concert dates,” his team said in the statement.

They continued, “He is thankful for his 50 years of traveling the world in ministry through music, and for everyone who shared this with him – his faithful audience, the dedicated musicians, and so many others who supported his effort.”

On Thursday, an update seemed to show improvement in the singer’s health.

“I know you will all be happy to know Al Jarreau is recovering slowly and steadily,” his team said.

Many celebrities took to social media to mourn the legendary jazz and R&B singer.

“Rest in power, @AlJarreau,” wrote Chaka Khan. “U were EVERYTHING Jazz & beyond with an unrivaled improvisational genius. Love & prayers 2 his family & fans.”

Musician Steve Lukather of Toto and Ringo’s All-Starr Band shared his condolences as well.

“It was an honor working with him and there was no one like him!” he tweeted. “Unreal..”

Source: Grammy-winning jazz legend Al Jarreau dies The 76-year-old music icon had recently been hospitalized for exhaustion and was forced to retire from touring. Leaves one final request »

BE CAREFUL ABOUT DAILY FALSE NEWS ON THE NET!

BE CAREFUL ABOUT DAILY FALSE NEWS NOW COMMON ON THE INTERNET!
UNNERVING RISE OF FALSE NEWS

The upshot is that false news is a growing trend and is likely here to stay. Just as the social media, it will only evolve in more diverse ways. – The author

Our intertwined world is encountering a vastly changed narrative of news flow, reportage and cause-advocacy via media.

The change is linked to growing universal rage — the so-called “age of anger”, and a sense of audacity, which drives anti-establishment sentiments and protestations.

Yet two realities are incontrovertible: fake or false news, hate speech and post truth via social media are spiraling globally, as the mainstream media is battling a crisis of legitimacy.

But just as the social media accentuates mass communication, it has thrown up an unnerving flip side –false news and post truth- which makes social media an adverse game changer.

Those who contend that social media offer a level playing field, overlook the pitfalls.

The scariest part of false news is the absence of an undo button. Evidence exist that false news has for some nations, become a tool of statecraft.

Russia meddling with recent U.S. elections is a case in point. Globally, the social order is being changed.

Alternative or rogue governments are being elected, due to the impact of false news.

Also, false news is now abetting recrudescence of rightwing extremism in Europe. The global tsunami of disinformation is replete with hybrid threats fostered by hoaxes.

Yet, the most insidious generators of false news, is the lone perpetrator, sequestered by choice in a room or café with an iPhone or tablet and access to Wi-Fi, who feels the awesome power afforded by anonymity and driven by indignation or righteousness to redress perceived societal ills.

The desire to shape opinion by legerdemain and revenge are also compelling factors.

Indubitably, false news is now the electrified third rail in global politics, Nigerian politics included.

With its vast reach, false news retains huge capacity for destructive consequences. Worryingly, there is no agreed antidote.

Recently, the Czech Republic set up a specialized anti-fake news unit to combat Russian fake news inundation.

In Africa, the response has been slow, notwithstanding that within one month, the news of the demise of Gambia’s president-elect Adama Barrow and of Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari were published and gained currency, until refuted.

Less perturbing but equally fabricated news included, Eritrea polygamy report; Tanzania’s president ban on miniskirts; and Nigerian lawmakers making 11 years the age of sexual consent?

All these are examples of the dreadful phenomena we confront daily. There is real and false news.

Until recently, false news was rare and benign, except for some non-injurious clichés; “bad news is good news” and “no news is good news”.

Not anymore. False news is bad news and therefore trouble.

While rhetoric remains the bedrock of political obfuscation, false news stretches rhetoric beyond the acceptable.

Moreover, false news is primarily fueled by politics and peaks during electoral periods. Hence, the 2016 U.S. elections added credence and impetus to false news.

Why the sudden groundswell of false news?

The social media is false news breeding ground. All that’s required is just a click of the “share” icon.

Besides the anonymity provided by social media, the convenience of instantly tweeting or retweeting a news item, without confirming the veracity, underpins the spread of false news, but not the reasons for fabricating untruth.

Interestingly, the attentive public has unwittingly become part of the problem.

The natural instinct to question the authenticity of a news report, has been dulled by the euphoria of being among the first to share a scoop, be it on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or WhatsApp.

What is overlooked is false news potentials as a tripwire for mob action or restiveness and possible national security implications.

False news traits include sensational and captivating headlines; oftentimes without a direct quote from the subject of the story.

False news goes beyond stretching the truth, often in malicious and troubling ways.

Hence, false news is not just capable of upturning nations’ social balance, but capable of fostering and foisting violent extremism.

False news abets political exigencies, more so where State controlled broadcast media outlets and on air personalities resort to spewing of verbiage during unmodulated call-in programmes.

There exist an inextricable nexus between false news and hate speech. Both aim to hurt.

This explains why ahead of the 2019 elections, the Abuja-based Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development (SCDDD) constituted the Democracy Stability and Media Accountability Project (DESMAP) Council.

The Council is “to address the administrative and legal gaps that exist in the extant body of laws and code of ethics on journalism and media practice, especially as they relate to the propagation of dangerous, false news and hate speeches.”

Nigeria is facing its share of false news, but despite the broad awareness of the negative impact of false news, the Federal Government is yet to contextualize fully the alarming challenges posed by false news and hate speech, and thus has not risen fully to the task.

By Oseloka Obaze & Chiagozie Udeh

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