MTN shuts stores, service centres in Nigeria, Jhb


MTN has confirmed attacks on four of its outlets in Nigeria and the closure of some stores in Johannesburg.

In the wake of the widely publicised xenophobia-related violence over the past few days in South Africa, the company yesterday issued a statement condemning "any and all violence".

The statement reads: "As a leading pan-African telecommunications company with operations in 21 countries, MTN believes in the potential of an Africa whose nations pursue deeper trade, integration and cooperation. We actively encourage the dialogue necessary to maintain peace and sustain strong relationships and urge all our customers and stakeholders to support and defend the principles of human rights, diversity and inclusion and an integrated collaborative Africa."

Today, the company issued a fresh statement expressing its concern over the developing situation in its markets.

"While we remain committed to providing uninterrupted services, the safety and security of our customers, staff and partners is our primary concern. MTN's stores and service centres in Nigeria have therefore been closed as a precaution."

The company said it 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," it added.

A source from within the company said MTN stores located in Johannesburg's CBD had been closed as a precautionary measure, but there were no plans to close any further outlets either in Nigeria or in Johannesburg.

Meanwhile Independent Online quoted the Nigerian High Commissioner to South Africa Kabiru Bala as saying: "Since the time this xenophobic violence started years ago, there has been no successful prosecution or conviction of any of the perpetrators. If there was evidence that a group had been convicted it would give confidence to foreign nationals that something was being done."