MTN confirms attacks and closure of its outlets in Nigeria

MTN has confirmed that all outlets in Nigeria have been closed
MTN has confirmed that all outlets in Nigeria have been closed
Image: Siphiwe Sibeko/REUTERS

MTN headquarters in South Africa has confirmed closure of all its outlets in Nigeria.

Four MTN outlets in Nigeria along with Shoprite stores and MultiChoice were attacked on Wednesday as residents retaliated against the ongoing violent xenophobic protests in South Africa.

“MTN confirms that over the last day four MTN outlets in Nigeria have been the subject of attacks and we have had to close some stores in Johannesburg. There are no reported injuries,” said MTN on Wednesday.

South Africans took to the streets this week in violent xenophobic protests that have since claimed several lives. Several foreign-owned shops were looted and torched.

“MTN is working with the relevant authorities and other stakeholders to focus on stabilising the situation both in Nigeria and South Africa and to ensure the safety and well-being of all those impacted by the unfortunate violence. We are also looking at coordinating with key stakeholders to work on medium-to-long-term interventions to this situation,” said MTN.

On his Twitter account, Nigeria’s President Mohammadu Buhari wrote last night: “I’m sending a Special Envoy to President Cyril Ramaphosa to share our deep concern about security of Nigerian lives and property in South Africa, and to ensure that the South African government is doing everything within its power in this regard.”

Two people were shot and killed on Tuesday as they intended to loot foreign-owned shops. One was allegedly shot by a Somali shop owner in Coronationville, western Johannesburg, while the other was said to have been killed in Crosby near Mayfair, also in western Johannesburg.

Multichoice in a media statement said the situation was being closely managed by its teams across the company's operations.

"In the interest of safeguarding our customers and staff we have taken the decision to close some of our offices in the following countries: Nigeria and Zambia until the situation is under control," said MultiChoice's spokesperson Joe Heshu.

"The situation is being closely managed by our teams across our operations. In the interest of safeguarding our customers and staff we have taken the decision to close some of our offices in the following countries: Nigeria and Zambia until the situation is under control," he said.

- Additional reporting by Tankiso Makhetha, Penwell Dlamini and Mpho Sibanyoni

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