SA feels the backlash in neighbouring countries after looting, truck attacks

04 September 2019 - 20:06 By TimesLIVE
Nigerians prepare to 'say no to xenophobia' at Ikeja City Mall.
Nigerians prepare to 'say no to xenophobia' at Ikeja City Mall.
Image: Dr. PamPam | Omo Iya Ologi @thepamilerin via Twitter

South African-owned businesses and an embassy are being targeted by protesters in neighbouring countries after a spate of xenophobic attacks on businesses and trucks in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

MTN and Shoprite closed stores in Nigeria on Wednesday after a wave of reprisal attacks in the past two days, according to news agencies AFP and Reuters.

More than 100 demonstrators clashed with police in Abuja as demonstrators burned tyres and hurled rocks outside a mall where a branch of the Shoprite supermarket is located, before being repelled. “We must avenge the death of our citizens in South Africa,” AFP quoted one of the demonstrators, Joseph Tasha, as saying.

Listen | What Police Minister General Bheki Cele plans to do about violent looting in Gauteng

The department of international relations and cooperation confirmed that the South African embassy in Lagos, Nigeria, was forced to close after being attacked, EWN reported on Wednesday.

Hundreds of University of Zambia students dressed mostly in black and chanting “No violence” also protested outside the South African high commission against the attacks on foreigners on Wednesday.

The students also targeted South African-owned shops such as Pick N Pay, Shoprite and MTN, the Lusaka Times reported on Wednesday. "MultiChoice closed its Manda Hill and EastPark outlets for security reasons," the publication reported.

Zambian President Edgar Lungu berated the students for engaging in acts of lawlessness while condemning similar acts in South Africa.

On Tuesday, the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) called off the country’s friendly soccer international against South Africa in Lusaka on Saturday, citing "prevailing security concerns in South Africa". 

In Mozambique, social media commentators said vehicles travelling from South Africa were being stopped at Matola.