MTN Nigeria shuts stores after anti-South African attacks

MTN Nigeria shuts stores after anti-South African attacks

The facilities were attacked in retaliation after days of riots in South Africa chiefly targeting foreign-owned, including Nigerian, businesses.

South African telecoms company MTN has said it will close all its stores in Nigeria until further notice after some of its outlets were targeted in response to anti-foreigner violence in South Africa.

The Nigerian division of South African telecom operator MTN said on Wednesday it will shut all stores and service centres in the country until further notice after its facilities in three cities were attacked.

The facilities were attacked in retaliation after days of riots in South Africa chiefly targeting foreign-owned, including Nigerian, businesses.

“The safety and security of our customers, staff and partners is our primary concern,” MTN Nigeria said in a statement.

“MTN condemns any acts of violence, prejudice and xenophobia.”

The latest wave of unrest in South Africa has raised fears of a recurrence of violence in 2015 aimed at foreigners and in which at least seven people were killed. Before that, some 60 people were killed in a wave of unrest around the country in 2008.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said on Tuesday he was urgently sending a special envoy to meet with President Cyril Ramaphosa to secure the “safety of (Nigerian citizens’) lives and property”.

Police have yet to pinpoint what triggered the violence, which began on Sunday when protesters armed with makeshift weapons roamed the streets of Pretoria’s business district, pelting shops with rocks and petrol bombs and running off with goods.

Nigeria is MTN’s biggest market, with 58 million users in 2018 and accounts for a third of the South African group’s core profit.

South African grocer Shoprite Holdings said on Wednesday several stores in its home market, Nigeria and Zambia were closed and extensive damage had been done to several supermarkets over the past 24 hours.

The shops were attacked after days of riots in South Africa chiefly targeting foreign-owned, including Nigerian, businesses.

The City of Tshwane has suspended buses once again saying that the financial impact was crippling the municipality.

The suspension follows several days of violence in the capital.

The city has been gripped by violence for several days.

Last week, the city also instructed bus drivers not to operate, citing safety concerns.

A taxi driver was shot and killed after he allegedly confronted a group of people dealing in drugs.

The city’s transport MMC Sheila Lynn Senkubuge: “This is going to have a huge financial impact, looking at the numbers. TRT are the ones who own the buses so inevitably we’re going to feel the pinch of it financially in a big way, it will definitely be in the millions considering the daily running of the bus service and what we collect.”

“The young people of South Africa do not know what happened before they gained their freedom. The whole of Africa stood behind South Africa to fight against apartheid.” ~ Former President of Ghana

Credit: Reuters

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