South Africa’s MTN Group has come out to express its concern over the new wave of violence targeting foreigners in South Africa and Nigeria (against South Africans).
In a briefed statement published on its website, MTN Group expressed concern over the attacks targeted at foreigners.
MTN Group, founded in South Africa in 1994, is a major MNO in the continent, and has subsidiaries in various African markets including Nigeria, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Republic, Liberia, Republic of Congo (Congo-Brazzaville), Rwanda, Sudan, South Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda and Zambia.
Over the past one week, there have been reported cases of violent protests targeted at foreigners in South Africa, with Nigerians mostly being singled out on allegations of engaging in illegal activities including trading in drugs as well as human trafficking. being
“The protesters accused African immigrants, including Nigerians and Somalis, of being involved in crimes, such as drug and sex trades. The incidents have prompted an angry response in Nigeria, where protesters in Abuja on Thursday marched to the offices of South African telecoms firm MTN and satellite cable service provider, DSTV,” reported an article in the online edition of Nigeria The Guardian published on February 25.
In a form of retaliation against South Africa and to avenge the ill-treatment being meted on its citizens in South Africa, Nigerian students have asked South African firms with subsidiaries in countries – among these being MTN and DStv – to leave Nigeria in 48 hours.
The students, under the umbrella of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), said the move was in protest of the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.
According to Pulse Nigeria, NANS President Kadiri Aruna issued the ultimatum during an interview at DStv offices in Abuja on Thursday, February 23, stating that “enough is enough as South Africans have openly attacked and bullied Nigerians.“
“The protesting students had also stormed the MTN office in Maitama area of Nigeria’s capital, attacking staff and looting valuables… Aruna if nothing is done after the 48-hour ultimatum, students in all University campuses will be ordered to destroy MTN mast across the country,” reported Pulse Nigeria, adding that the NANS leader had further warned that “the violent action will also be carried out at DSTV and Shoprite branches in Nigeria.”
Up until now, the two South African companies – DStv and Shopbrite – have not made any public comment on the attacks in South Africa and Nigeria.