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SA embassy in Lagos forced to close

The South African embassy in Lagos has been forced to temporarily shut its doors.

It joins local businesses in Nigeria, MTN and Shoprite, which have come under attack. 

That’s after days of riots in South Africa targeting foreign-owned businesses, especially Nigeria’s.

Policemen look on as shoppers stand in front of Shoprite in Abuja, as the gate remains closed following retaliatory attacks by Nigeria over the xenophobic attack SA.

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation’s Lunga Ngqengelele says the decision to shut down the embassy was out of concern for the safety of the employees.

“We have been in communication with the Nigerian government and we have been assured of the protection of the businesses belonging to SA. Nigerian police quelled the uprising from the Nigerians attacking SA business, we understand that arrests were made. We are pleased that there was no loss of life.”

Several African countries have expressed their dismay at the violence against their expatriates in South Africa.

Hundreds of Zambian students, dressed mostly in black and chanting ‘No Violence’, protested outside the South African High Commission in Lusaka.

Kazungula, Botswana/Zambia border – South African truck drivers being sent back at the border in retaliation.

Game, another South African affiliate business was however spared from the ongoing anti-xenophobic protests in Nigeria. The shop remains open and operational.

Other African countries and the African Union have called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to take action.

Citizens from across the continent voiced their anger on social media, with some retaliating.

Protests and vandalism of some SA businesses

Nigeria has recalled its South African ambassador and since ordered an evacuation of its citizens.

President Muhammadu Buhari had sent an envoy to South Africa, but the move did not deter statewide protests and vandalism of some SA businesses,

A list entertainer, Tiwa Savage cancelled a show in that country in protest.

The head of SA mission, Mr Bobi Moro who condemned the incident said it was carried out by criminals who want to throw the country into crisis.

He told the minister of foreign affairs, Jeoffery Onyeama in a meeting in Abuja on Tuesday that the attacks were not xenophobic but criminal, saying 70 people have so far been arrested.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa told officials and business leaders on Wednesday that he was committed to quelling attacks on foreigners that have threatened to cast a cloud over an economic forum aimed at boosting intra-African trade.

Nigeria pulled out of the summit.

Police have arrested almost 300 people and confirmed at least five deaths after riots in Johannesburg and the capital Pretoria in recent days when roving groups attacked shops mainly owned by migrants from the rest of Africa.

It is unclear what ignited the latest round of violence, but analysts say contributing factors include high unemployment and frustration with limited economic opportunities.

Boycott of South African businesses

Many Nigerians are still calling for a boycott of South African businesses. Some Twitter users publicly smashed their DSTV consoles, a multi-media company owned by South Africa.

#EnoughIsEnough#SayNoToXenophobia is trending on twitter advocating a boycott of MTN, Shoprite, and DSTV, to force the South African government to stop the killings.