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Under siege in Nigeria, SA businesses shut stores

Nigerian President is sending a special envoy to meet with President Cyril Ramaphosa.
As violence against foreign nationals escalates, Shoprite says several stores in SA, Nigeria and Zambia were closed, following extensive damage over the past 24 hours. Image: Waldo Swiegers, Bloomberg

South African companies MTN and Shoprite closed stores in Nigeria on Wednesday after attacks on their facilities in the country.

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

Read: MTN Nigeria says all stores will be closed after anti-South African attacks

Ramaphosa says South Africa must quell attacks on foreigners as summit starts

The Nigerian division of telecom operator MTN said it will shut all stores and service centres in the country until further notice.

“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.”

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.

Supermarket chain Shoprite said several stores in South Africa, Nigeria and Zambia were closed and extensive damage had been done to several supermarkets over the past 24 hours.

“The retailer is highly concerned about the acts of xenophobic violence against foreign nationals,” the grocer added in its statement.

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. 

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TIA… We dont like you looting our citizens shops and attacking them in the process… Turns around and does the exact same thing…

I have an excellent way of securing foreigners’ lives and property. It’s 100% sure to stop all this violence. It’s called “immediate repatriation.”

I wonder how much of these foreigners are part of the ANc’s voter base?

End of comments.





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