JOHANNESBURG, February 23 (ANA) – MTN Group on Thursday expressed concern over renewed incidents of xenophobic violence directed against foreign nationals both in South Africa and Nigeria.
This comes after buildings and houses suspected to be drug dens and brothels, also housing Nigerian businesses, were burned in Rosettenville, Johannesburg, in the past few weeks.
Houses and shops of Nigerian nationals have also been targeted and looted in Pretoria West in recent days.
“MTN requests people to exercise restraint and remain calm,” the network operator said.
The South African-based multinational mobile telecommunications company runs one of its largest operations in Nigeria, with more than 50 million subscribers.
There were reports of vandalism and revenge attacks on MTN offices in Abuja.
Reuters reports that Nigerian Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama summoned the South African ambassador to discuss the matter.
South Africans accuse government of prioritising the employment of foreigners ahead of locals, and that Nigerians were hijacking buildings, dealing in illicit drugs and operating brothels.
The African Union estimates that there are more than 800,000 Nigerian nationals living in South Africa.
A group calling itself the Mamelodi Concerned Residents is organising a march to the Home Affairs headquarters in Pretoria on Friday to highlight grievances against immigrants in their community.
Police in Atteridgeville remain on standby and have warned community members not to take the law into their own hands.
– African News Agency (ANA