MTN, Multichoice and Shoprite have closed shops in Nigeria and Zambia following attacks on their outlets in the wake of recent xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and nationals of other African countries in Gauteng.

Multichoice had notified its customers in Nigeria that “our call centre is currently unavailable due to unforeseen circumstances.”

The company’s head of corporate affairs, Jabavu Heshu who announced the decision of the television company to close offices in both countries, said it was to safeguard customers.

“We have had to shut branches and offices to safeguard customers and staff until further notices,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.

“The on-going violence in South Africa against foreign nationals, is against the spirit of Africa, and counter-productive to the decades of work done by African leaders and well-meaning organisations to unite the continent.

“We are a proudly African company and although our story began in South Africa, today we represent the African continent in all its diversity through our presence across the region.”

Similarly, the MTN Group said in a statement that it had closed its stores and service centres in Nigeria “as a precaution” after four stores in Nigeria were attacked. It also closed several stores in Johannesburg. It said there had been no reported injuries.

“While we remain committed to providing uninterrupted services, the safety and security of our customers, staff and partners is our primary concern,” it said in a statement, adding that it opposes any form of xenophobia.

“As a company, we remain committed to ensuring a peaceful, harmonious and respectful relationship with all our stakeholders across Africa.”

Shoprite has also closed its outlets following growing attacks and tension in Nigeria.