Statement By S.A Foreign Students| Baraka Leonard Nafari, a University of Johannesburg (UJ) PhD student from Tanzania, was murdered in the early hours of Friday, the 23rd of February 2018.
UJ’s own CCTV footage shows Baraka and a fellow UJ student running for their lives
while two men in a taxi pursue them.
The taxi then deliberately struck Baraka against the fence of the University of Johannesburg’s Sophiatown residence in Auckland Park and killed him.
Yet, despite these facts, the driver of the taxi was arrested for driving without a license!
He was then released on police bail, and the other person in the taxi was released without
The taxi driver, according to the police, claims that Baraka and his fellow student were
makwerekwere [was it because they wore a maasai shuka?] who were armed and tried to
This is nonsense. Baraka was their victim – the victim of their xenophobia and
their violent hunting for money.
We refuse to let him be just another number, just another statistic.
We demand to know:
• Why did UJ protection services and Brixton Police assume that the body was that
of a homeless person? Was it so that they didn’t have to take the case seriously?
• Why didn’t UJ protection services insist Brixton Police see the footage
immediately instead of leaving it until Wednesday, 28th February 2018 and only
after pressure from some UJ staff and students and the Tanzanian Embassy?
• Why did Brixton Police believe the version of the events given by the taxi driver,
a man who they had found slumped in his taxi next to a dead body?
• Why didn’t the Police Investigating Officer see the footage before Wednesday,
28th February 2018 and only after pressure from some UJ staff and students and
the Tanzanian Embassy?
• Why haven’t UJ protection services and Brixton Police look for additional CCTV
footage from the area of the crime?
As a result of UJ protection services and Brixton Police’s inaction until Tuesday, at the
first hearing on Tuesday, 27th March 2018, the Magistrate declined to put the case on the
roll as there is no evidence disputing the murderer’s statement given to the police. Indeed,
this is the level of negligence that allows violence and murder to roam and haunt our
We demand the following:
• We demand Brixton Police take this case seriously.
• We demand the University of Johannesburg condemn the murder, seek justice and
support the family.
• We demand UJ security services act diligently.
• We demand the Independent Police Investigator Directorate supervises whether
Brixton Police investigates Baraka’s murder with diligence.
• We demand the Human Rights Commission investigates whether Baraka’s
murder was motivated by xenophobia.
The University of Johannesburg prides itself on being a Pan-African institution – a home
for students from across the continent. But if it is to be so, all its students must feel safe,
and must be safe. Baraka was a Tanzanian citizen and we welcomed him here.
disturbed that the University, so proud of its international students, has not yet issued a
public statement condemning this appalling murder –while Baraka’s former Saint
Augustine University of Tanzania issued one on Tuesday, 27th February.
Worse, we have
too many reasons to believe that if it wasn’t for Baraka’s friends and colleagues, the
inaction of UJ protection services and Brixton Police would most likely have already
resulted in a blatant injustice.
Baraka was much loved by staff and friends at UJ. We will not let the questions
surrounding his murder go unanswered.