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MTN Nigeria says all stores closed after anti-SA attacks

Facilities in three cities were attacked.
The attacks on MTN Nigeria stores are acts of retaliation, following a spike in riots against foreign nationals in South Africa. Image: Afolabi Sotunde, Reuters

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.

Read: Xenophobic attacks leave migrants living in fear

“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.

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Any business operating in that lawless country will lose money. It is a classic failed state. 60 years of independence, oil, 200m people and a GDP that is a joke. It is a horrible lawless mess of a country and MTN should cut its losses and sell-as should Shoprite etc. etc.

And so it begins…..
When will any SA company recognize that doing business in Africa is just too painful. These people play by a completely different set of rules. No matter what you do – it’s never enough.
So disappointing.

End of comments.

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