South African police constable, Austin Luciano Reynold, has been found guilty of the murder of Ebuka Okoli, a Nigerian. Okoli was killed in Durban, Kwa Zulu Natal, in 2018.
Okoli was reportedly shot at close range during an unauthorised raid by the 24-year-old Reynold on the community where he resides after he had been handcuffed, robbed by the police officer who was off duty at the time of the raid.
During the trial on Friday, Shyam Gyanda, the presiding judge, found the officer guilty on all four charges preferred against him — one charge of murder and three charges of robbery.
In an interview in August, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), stated that eight policemen were on trial in South Africa for their alleged role in the killing of Nigerian citizens.
Said Dabiri: “So, we are dealing with three things. There are xenophobic attacks in South Africa – it is there. There is a high rate of crime in South Africa – it is there. 20,000 murders per annum.
“And then there is a case of our Nigerians – gangs and drug wars – killing one another. But what we are saying to South Africa is that no matter the circumstances, our people need to be protected. We are getting to a tipping point where we cannot tolerate any more killings of Nigerians in South Africa.
“And then we have eight South African policemen currently in court, being investigated for their alleged involvement in killings and maltreatment of Nigerians, and the case is being monitored by the high commission in South Africa; Godwin Adama is the consul general.
“So, what we are saying is this, like the case of those eight policemen, it has to be concluded”.