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Ugandan Man Burns Car Dealership Property Used By Nigerians In South Africa, Destroys Multi-million-naira Vehicles, Spare Parts

Posted by Amarachi on Mon 11th Sep, 2023 - tori.ng

One of the affected businessmen, Mr. Owolabi Gbadamosi, described how he received an unpleasant call about the arson attack at around 7 p.m. on that day.

 

A Ugandan national, who is yet to be identified, has caused serious stir in South Africa.

The man has reportedly burned down the automobile workshop owned by Nigerians in Pretoria, South Africa.

In a statement released on Saturday, the National Publicity Secretary of Nigerian Union South Africa (NUSA) said nine cars and vehicle parts worth a million, five hundred and fifty thousand rands (R1,550,000.00 or about N65 million) were damaged during the fire incident which happened on September 5, 2023.

One of the affected businessmen, Mr. Owolabi Gbadamosi, described how he received an unpleasant call about the arson attack at around 7 p.m. on that day.

It was learnt that around 6 p.m. that day, Gbadamosi and his coworkers left for their respective homes in the Province.

The statement said, “They imagined it was a transformer explosion that occasionally happened nearby until they got a call warning them of a fire at their business unit. When criminals attempt to take cables from the substation, it frequently occurs. Their shop was not significantly damaged by these blasts.

“However, as they neared the scene, they noticed flames that warned them that something major was going on.

“The fire department was already on the scene and attempting to put out the fire when the partners arrived at the business property on their own.

“Another cohort affected by the incident, Mr. Tunji Balogun, related how he attempted to salvage a few of the automobiles during the extinguishing. however, the fire brigade warned against taking such risky action.

“This may have been caused by the dangerous poisonous fumes that are released in such circumstances. Citing an explosion that, if not kept at a safe distance, might cause serious injury or death.” 

It continued: “Before the arson was perpetrated on the property, a Ugandan national, who was subletting part of the location in question was having a conflict with his son. The East African man had been operating an automobile spare part business on the property for 7 years.

“Sometime last year, he established the same type of business in Atteridgeville, Pretoria, and handed over the motor vehicle components business in Vom Hagen Street to his son. According to eyewitnesses, this was because the Atteridgeville location was generating satisfactory net income.

“His son then secured a loan from his girlfriend and began the operation, which became somewhat successful. In a new twist, a month ago, the son of the Ugandan father, whose name could not be verified at the time of writing this report, carried out a twelve thousand rand (R12,000.00) transaction via his father's bank account. This was a result of his inability to set one up for himself due to documentation challenges.

“His father only remitted half of the money to him, and the deed infuriated him. The son questioned his father's handling of the situation. Asking how he is expected to make progress if he is not allowed to reinvest money made back into the enterprise. Unable to resolve their dispute, the father decided to reclaim the business from his son, taking advantage of possessing all the legal documents related to the business.

“When his son would not vacate the building, after being verbally informed, the father decided to obtain a court order restricting his offspring from his and the surrounding businesses. Weeks before the son was alleged to have burned the business, things got so heated that he attempted to stab his father but was restricted by mediators. The son then threatened that it was not the last time the father would hear from him apropos the matter.

“When the business location was set ablaze, the father could be heard continuously lamenting that the fire-raising was perpetrated by his son. It appears the major target of the arsonist was the portion of his father's business on the property, nevertheless, it escalated to Mr. Owolabi and Co's businesses.

“Nigerian Union South Africa (NUSA) representatives, led by the Acting President, Mrs. Doris-Ikeri Solarin, have paid a courtesy visit to the scene and sympathized with our compatriots affected. Also present for the visit were Mr. Trust Owoyele (National Treasurer), Mr. Yomi Awosemo (National Assistant Welfare Officer), and Mr. Olaniyi Abodedele (The Voice, NUSA Gauteng Chairman).

“Prior to the visit, the Union had informed Mr. Christopher Oguri, who is in charge of Consular matters at the Consulate General of Nigeria in Johannesburg, South Africa. The goal is to exhaust every possibility within the laws of South Africa to see if our citizens can get some compensation that will bring some level of succor to them.

“The suspected arsonist is still at large and a case docket has been opened at a Police Station.”



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