By Emmanuel Afonne
The Ohanaeze Ndigbo, South Africa (ONSA), has prayed the country’s court to ensure that justice is served and quick too in the case of its slain 38-year-old member.
Mr Mendis Uzodimma, a youth entrepreneur in South Africa, was murdered in cold blood by a South African family gang in his shop in Rosettenville, Southern Johannesburg.
The Igbo association, an arm of the Nigeria Union South Africa (NUSA), via a statement issued by its Deputy Secretary-General, Mr Tochukwu Ngwoke, on Wednesday said that it would not let up the prosecution.
The statement was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
Ngwoke said that Ohanaeze received the news of Uzodimma’s gruesome murder on May 13, and urged the authorities to ensure that justice was served to serve as deterrent to others who might want to indulge in similar act.
He prayed the court to ensure quick dispensation of justice to console the family of the deceased.
“On May 13, 2021, the leadership of ONSA received a distress call from our people (Igbo people) in Rosettenville, Southern Johannesburg, informing us about the gruesome murder of a young, energetic and vibrant Igbo son, Mr Mendis Uzodimma.
“The deceased, a 38-year-old young man, owned a phone shop on Main Street, Rosettenville and hailed from Ohaji Egbema in Imo,” Ngwoke said.
Ngwoke stated that ONSA under the leadership of Mr Sunny-Wenike Douglas, had on May 14, stormed Booysens Magistrate Court where the murder suspects were arraigned and waiting to be granted bail.
He said that the congregation of ONSA in court was to show solidarity for its kinsman and ensure that nothing untoward was done by the court to free the murder suspects.
“We want to make sure that the slain Uzodimma gets justice.
“A witness who spoke to us at the court premises said Mendis was stabbed severally by a South African woman and her husband from Zimbabwe whose daughter sold a phone to Uzodimma.
“Apparently, the daughter of the woman, who is alleged to be an online porn artist, sold her phone to our brother who in turn sold it to another person who saw the porn movies where the girl featured and started circulating them.
“When the girl got it, she thought it was the person she sold the phone to who circulated it not knowing that he was not the one as he had sold off the phone.
“So, it was out of fury that the lady, her mother and her mother’s husband stormed Mendis’s shop.
“Without hearing from him the mother started stabbing him until he slumped and died,” Ngwoke said, quoting the witness.
He added that they were there on that day for a peaceful protest outside the court premises demanding that the deceased must get justice.
He noted that besides the show of solidarity the organisation wanted to make sure that Nigerians did not take the law into their hands or act in any manner that might contravene the country’s law.
Ngwoke said that already two witnesses had testified to ensure that justice was served.
The statement said that Douglas thanked the Nigerian community for coming out en masse to show solidarity.
However, he urged them to restrain themselves from doing anything capable of jeopardising or truncating the ongoing investigation.
He equally implored them to shun any act of violence and criminality of any sort, go about their normal business and continue to be good ambassadors of Nigeria.
The statement added that ONSA leadership was on top of the case and would continue to monitor the situation closely as well as not hesitate to report developments to their forum as it unfolded.
The statement also quoted the President of NUSA, Mr Adetola Olubajo, as condemning the killing and assuring to work with Ohanaeze until justice was served. (NAN)