A yet-to-be-identified Ugandan national 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.

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.
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).

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