Cape Town - A man was allegedly cuffed to a rail of the Shoprite store at the Golden Acre for more than two hours after being accused of shoplifting.
He was then held overnight by the police on a charge of fraud before being released.
His employer and a friend said on Facebook that Langton Nyathi, 27, had paid for a R5 mug from the reduced goods table at the store on Tuesday, and then went back to find the mug’s lid, after noticing all the other mugs had lids.
He was seen by store security and shackled.
His employer John Joseph Spargo, who posted a picture of Nyathi on Facebook, was incensed at the treatment he received.
Writing on Facebook he said: “They chained him, like a dog, to railings behind a security grille at the staff entrance for nearly three hours, without access to water or toilets.
“At no stage did he resist, and for over two hours, I repeatedly remonstrated with the store manager.”
Spargo added that he had known Nyathi for over 10 years, and that there were “witnesses that would give a version of events that would show there was nothing other than a misunderstanding.”
Police said Nyathi, who they referred to as Sphamandla Nyathi, was arrested on charges of fraud on Tuesday and released on Wednesday.
Shoprite spokeswoman Sarita van Wyk said once suspected shoplifters were identified, police were called to the store to take charge of the situation.
“The amount of time it takes them to arrive is out of our control. We empathise with the position Mr Nyathi is finding himself in, but we are unfortunately not in a position to intervene or comment on matters pending court appearances.”
She added that the incident was under investigation.
It is unclear why Nyathi was charged with fraud rather than shoplifting.