South Africans are still furious after Thando Mahlangu was chased away from the Boulders Shopping Centre for wearing traditional regalia. Picture: @thandomahlangu_/Twitter
South Africans are still furious after Thando Mahlangu was chased away from the Boulders Shopping Centre for wearing traditional regalia. Picture: @thandomahlangu_/Twitter

Ndebele viral video: South Africans not impressed with Boulders Centre apology

By Thobile Mazibuko Time of article published Mar 25, 2021

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South Africans are still furious after Ndebele activist and author Thando Mahlangu was chased away from the Boulders Shopping Centre for wearing traditional regalia.

In a video recorded by a bystander, Jose Maponyane, centre manager at Boulders, said he didn’t want Mahlangu in his mall because he looked “indecent”.

Mahlangu was wearing Ndebele traditional clothing.

“I don’t condone this in my mall, ngicela uphume ke (please leave). You are dressed indecently,” said Maponyane.

Mahlangu then shared the video on Twitter, which attracted over 5 000 viewers within 21 hours.

Seeing the matter escalating, Boulders Shopping Centre took to Facebook to issue an apology. This was after Clicks threatened to lay a complaint against them.

“The Boulders Shopping Centre would like to apologise unreservedly for the incident that took place at Clicks. The centre would like to clarify that it does not deny entry based on appearances and clothes. It is unfortunate that the incident that occurred inside Clicks is being viewed as intolerant towards other cultures and clothes. We would like to state that based on various complaints received from shoppers, the person in question was asked to leave the store as his underwear indecently exposed him.

“We neither had nor have any intentions of hurting sentiments or discriminating against anyone on the basis of their cultural beliefs and practices. The exchange in the video does not represent the core beliefs and values of the centre. We take this opportunity to once again apologise to those who feel hurt by the incident. The decision was taken in the interests of other shoppers and employees of the mall,” read the statement by the shopping centre.

The Boulders Shopping Centre would like to apologise unreservedly for the incident that took place at Clicks. The Centre...

Posted by The Boulders Shopping Centre onWednesday, March 24, 2021

However, South Africans were not impressed by the apology, and they were not shy to share their opinions.

“This is not an apology. We are sick of being discriminated against as if black people aren't a large contributor to the economy. Even if we were not, this notion of making or asking someone to present themselves in a way that disregards or dismisses their culture to make others more comfortable is no different to 'slegs blankes' and fine-tooth comb test. Take real action and consider better PR, this reads and smells like the cow dung displayed in that video,” commented Mpho Mapatsi.

Another Facebook user, Sympathy Sbu Mhlanga, commented: “You haven't apologised, you're not sorry. What is this hogwash on the statement? You have said nothing here just a lot of noise. What action have you taken? People visit the mall with their bums out, so can please not insult our intelligence.”

Here are some of the reactions about the incident:

Dear baTswana Please sit Jose Maponyane down & give him cultural lessons, history, values & sense of pride! I didn't...

Posted by Katlego Rasebitse onWednesday, March 24, 2021

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