Xenophobic attacks in So. Africa trigger retaliation against MTN office in Nigeria; So. African Govt. calls for calm & restraint

Xenophobic attacks erupted in South Africa two weeks ago and the violence continues. Houses were burnt down, and shops and other businesses were looted and vandalized in different parts of mainly Gauteng province. Nigerian nationals were allegedly targeted in the attacks. In retaliation, protestors in Nigeria vandalized mobile company MTN’s regional head office in Abuja. In South Africa, Home Affairs minister called on business to adhere to the country's constitution and labor regulations on the engagement of foreign nationals. President Jabob Zuma issued a statement on xenophobic attacks and the fight against crime. The statement is here. 

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27 February 2017

Nigeria:Protesters vandalise MTN office in Abuja in response to xenophobic attacks in So. Africa

Author: Maggie Fick & Joseph Cotterill, Financial Times (UK)

"MTN targeted as xenophobia surges in Nigeria and So. Africa", 23 Feb 2017

Nigerian protesters attacked the head office of MTN, the South African mobile phone company, in Abuja on Thursday as a wave of xenophobic violence in Africa’s two largest economies increased. The unrest in the Nigerian capital followed a spate of attacks on Nigerian-owned businesses in Pretoria, South Africa’s capital, and the business centre of Johannesburg this week, in that country’s worst flare-up of anti-foreigner rioting in years...According to a spokesman for MTN, the protesters stormed its offices and stole phones, vandalised equipment and attacked customers. The violence underscores the fragile relationship between Africa’s political and economic powerhouses.

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23 February 2017

So. Africa: Home Affairs minister blames business as xenophobia spreads; says business must comply with the country's laws on employing migrants

Author: Times Live (South Africa)

"Gigaba blames business as xenophobia spreads", 23 Feb 2017

Business‚ specifically the hospitality and retail sectors‚ are being targeted by the Home Affairs Minister‚ Malusi Gigaba‚ as he addresses tensions between citizens and foreign nationals...Addressing a briefing on growing xenophobia in 2017‚ with outbreaks on violence in Gauteng‚ the minister told a briefing in Cape Town that there should be compliance with the Constitution and other laws of the Republic‚ by citizens and foreign nationals..."Business is a critical partner in managing anti-immigrant sentiments and more will be expected of them...In many cases business incentivises irregular migration‚ and those contributing to questionable labour practices must be held to account. It is far easier and convenient for some to target desperate and vulnerable migrants than the unscrupulous employers who deliberately fuel tensions in the labour market..." [Gigaba said] a total of 63 people who were employed by the Spar without documentation were arrested at three Spar supermarkets...I have directed my office to set up a meeting with the management of Spar to discuss labour issues."

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