Jean-Jacques Cornish

Nigeria denounces killing of a citizen in clash with South African police

Nigeria’s calling for urgent diplomatic action after one of its citizens died in a violent confrontation with South African police.

Abuja authorities have denounced it as a barbaric and extra-judicial killing.

The incident involves Nigerian Victor Tochukwu Nnadi, who was allegedly choked as he lay handcuffed on a main street last Thursday.

South African police say Nadi resisted arrest after being suspected of dealing drugs.

The police say he died after swallowing heroin he was trying to sell.

Witnesses took pictures of the incident that show a body lying on the ground with a swollen face and blood coming from his mouth.

South African police say they are carrying out further investigations.

The Nigerian Union in South Africa, which represents

800 000 Nigerians living in South Africa, maintains there’s been no examination to confirm Nnadi died of heroin consumption.

Senior aide to President Muhammadu Buhari on foreign affairs and the Nigerian diaspora Abike Dabiri-Erewa says the barbaric behaviour of the perpetrators is not only unacceptable, but also calls for urgent attention by diplomatic authorities in Nigeria and South Africa.

She says the extra judicial killing of Nigerians is unacceptable.

NUSA spokesman Emeka Ezinteje Collins says South African authorities  tend to believe that Nigerian lives don’t matter.

In its latest report, an independent watchdog said 640 people had died from police brutality or in police custody in South Africa.

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Jean-Jacques Cornish is a journalist and broadcaster who has been involved in the media all his adult life.

Starting as a reporter on his hometown newspaper, he moved briefly to then Rhodesia before returning to South Africa to become a parliamentary correspondent with the South African Press Association. He was sent to London as Sapa’s London editor and also served as special correspondent to the United Nations. He joined the then Argus group in London as political correspondent.

Returning to South Africa after 12 years abroad, he was assistant editor on the Pretoria News for a decade before becoming editor of the Star and SA Times for five years.

Since 1999 he’s been an independent journalist writing and broadcasting – mainly about Africa – for Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape
Talk, Radio France International, PressTV, Radio Live New Zealand, Business Day, Mail & Guardian, the BBC, Agence France Press,
Business in Africa, Leadership, India Today, the South African Institute for International Affairs and the Institute for Security Studies.

He has hosted current affairs talk shows on Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape Talk. He appears as an African affairs pundit on SABC Africa and CNBC Africa.
He lectured in contemporary studies to journalism students at the Tshwane University of Technology and the University of Pretoria.

He speaks on African affairs to corporate and other audiences.
He has been officially invited as a journalist to more than 30 countries. He was the winner of the 2007 SADC award for radio journalism.

He’s been a member of the EISA team observing elections in Somaliland, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Egypt and Tunsiai.

In October 2009 he headed a group of 39 African journalists to the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Peoples’ Republic of China.

In January 2010 he joined a rescue and paramedical team to earthquake struck Haiti.

He is immediate past president of the Alliance Francaise of Pretoria.

Jean-Jacques is a director of Giant Media. The company was given access to Nelson Mandela in his retirement years until 2009.
He is co-producer of the hour-long documentary Mandela at 90 that was broadcast on BBC in January 2009.