NATIONAL NEWS - Clicks store says it will be taking action against a Boulders Shopping Centre manager who told cultural activist Thando Mahlangu he was not decently dressed.
Mahlangu took to social media on Wednesday evening to complain about the “saddest reality in Africa” after the manager told him to leave his mall because of his Ndebele attire.
In a video he shared, the two can be heard in a heated debate about the outfit in question as the manager insists Mahlangu’s outfit is inappropriate for a public space.
“Let’s cut the whole story short, we’ve got the right of admission. I don’t condone this in my mall so please leave. It’s a public space. This is not decent. I’m not allowing this here, this is my mall, right of admission is reserved,” says the manager.
“It’s in Africa. You’re wearing western, I am wearing African, in Africa and I’m not allowed to your mall. You’re telling me I’m not supposed to wear African in Africa,” says Mahlangu.
Clicks store said it was “extremely embarrassed” by the manager and it would be taking action against him.
“Clicks Midrand Boulders did not ask a customer dressed in Ndebele traditional wear to leave the Clicks store. The centre manager of Boulders, accompanied by Boulders Centre security, entered the Clicks store and demanded that the customer leave,” Clicks said in a statement.
“The Clicks store manager intervened and asked the centre manager to leave. The customer was allowed to continue shopping. We are extremely embarrassed by the centre manager’s behaviour and will be putting in a formal complaint.”
Gauteng MEC for sports, arts, culture and recreation Mbali Hlophe said she had noted “with disgust” the “disturbing” video.
“It remains shameful that an African man would discriminate against another for merely wearing traditional wear. It shows we have a long way to go in decolonising the minds of some among us.
“The man is deemed to be dressed inappropriately by a manager who claims the mall belongs to him.”
This was not the first time Mahlangu was discriminated against because of his Ndebele attire. In 2018, he was barred from boarding the Gautrain due to his traditional outfit being deemed inappropriate