SOUTH Africa has closed its high commission in Nigeria in response to the ongoing disturbances that has seen Nigerian mobs attack South African businesses as a reaction to the xenophobic attacks in Johannesburg and Pretoria.
Over the last week, angry mobs have run riot in South Africa, attacking African business, burning down shops and killing migrants. Leading to widespread condemnation, the attacks have led to the presidents of Rwanda, Malawi and the Democratic Republic of Congo pulling out of the World Economic Forum (Wef) summit which started yesterday at the Cape Town International Convention Centre and us due to end on Friday.
Across Nigeria, the situation has been intense as angry mobs have attacked South African businesses like the Shoprite retail chain and telecommunications giant MTN. Under pressure, President Muhammadu Buhari has recalled Nigeria’s high commissioner to South Africa and vice president Professor Yemi Osinbajo also decided to boycott the Wef.
Due to the fear of fresh from attacks by Nigerian youths, the South Africa high commission in Abuja has shut down its offices and consulate. Ambassador Bobby Moroe, the acting high commissioner, explained that the reported attacks on South Africans in parts of Nigeria informed the decision to close down the mission.
He added: “I directed that the mission should be closed until the situation improves. We heard that South Africans were being pulled out of vehicles and attacked, we feel unsafe and that is why I directed that the mission should close down until further notice.”
MTN has also announced the closure of all its shops in Nigeria as the tension mounts. Across southern Africa, some South African drivers have encountered difficulties crossing the country’s borders to Mozambique and Zambia.
They are being held up at border points by Zambians and Mozambicans while their tyres are being set on fire. Truckers carrying deliveries were being targeted and irate youths had to be dispersed by police.
At least five Africans have been killed in attacks on foreigners in South Africa this week. These attacks on foreign-owned businesses have sparked a tidal wave of reactions across the African continent