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Wed, 11 Dec 2019 14:17 GMT

Under Siege in Nigeria, South African Businesses Shut Stores


7Dnews London

Wed, 04 Sep 2019 16:18 GMT

South African companies MTN and Shoprite closed stores in Nigeria on Wednesday September 4th following a wave of reprisal attacks on their facilities, according to Reuters.

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

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.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said on Tuesday September 3rd that he was urgently sending a special envoy to meet with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to secure the "safety of (Nigerian citizens') lives and property".

Security was ramped up around South African businesses across Nigeria after violence in South Africa, 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.

The latest wave of unrest in South Africa has raised fears of a recurrence of the violence in 2015 aimed at foreigners and in which at least seven people were killed.