Xenophobia: Tensions Rise As Shoprite, MTN Stores Close Down

Following reports of relentless attacks on Nigerians due to Xenophobia in South Africa, many South African owned businesses including Shoprite and MTN have been forced to close down.

MTN Nigeria released a short statement in which they stated that they would be closing their doors to customers until further notice due to the attack on their stores by Nigerians looking to retaliate.

“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 telecomm giant said.

MTN was not the only company affected as Shoprite, a chain of mega stores with branches in Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia, have had to also close their doors due to attacks.

There were pretty nasty attacks at some of the Shoprite locations in Lagos, Nigeria including Sangotedo, Jakande and Surulere. Millions of Naira worth of property was damaged/looted in the process and this has forced Shoprite Holdings to shut down many of their stores.

Meanwhile, political tensions have risen between Nigeria and South Africa over Xenophobia with the latter announcing that it would be closing down its embassy in Nigeria due to the violence.

Announcing this, Foreign Affairs Minister, Naledi Pandor said in Cape Town that the government is working hard to find a peaceful resolution to the matter with Nigeria.

“There is an Afrophobia we are sensing that exists, there is resentment and we need to address that,” he said.

It would be interesting to see if a resolution can be found, but it would be in the interest of both nations if one is.



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