’How do you suspend the owner?’ Twitter trolls in stitches as Boulders’ mall manager faces probe
Johannesburg - The Boulders Shopping Centre mall manager who was suspended for attempting to block a man from shopping while wearing traditional Ndebele garb, has drawn the ridicule of Twitter after he claimed to own the mall in the viral video.
Redefine Properties announced they had suspended the centre manager on Thursday and expressed regret in the manner that the employee had interacted with Ndebele activist Thando Mahlangu, who was shopping in the mall wearing his traditional Ndebele wears.
After IOL announced the news of the centre manager’s suspension, scores of people on Twitter poked fun at the suspended manager, who had claimed ownership of the mall during the viral video in which he was animated, telling Mahlangu he would not allow him to shop in traditional dress.
He had also told the customer that the right of admission was reserved and he asked him to leave.
“Do you hear me? Let’s cut the story short, you’ve got a right of admission. I don’t condone this in my mall, ngicela uphume ke (please leave),” said the centre manager.
The clash continued until the centre manager told Clicks staff not to serve Mahlangu.
“I’m not going to argue with you, don’t sell them whatever they want to buy, they must just leave,” said the manager.
The incident happened in the shopping aisles at a Clicks store, and which the beauty and health store quickly distanced itself from the incident and reported the centre manager to the owners of the centre, Redefine Properties.
Clicks said an on-duty manager de-escalated the issue, asked the centre manager to leave with mall security and allowed Mahlangu to carry on with his shopping.
“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.
“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,” said Clicks.
In a swift turn of events, by Thursday afternoon it was the centre manager who was being asked to leave, after Redefine Properties said they had placed him on suspension pending an internal investigation of the incident.
They also expressed regret and said their chief executive, Andrew Kronig, wanted to apologise to Mahlangu in person for the embarrassing ordeal.
“The events that unfolded at the Boulders Shopping Centre yesterday are most regrettable. It is imperative that we, as Redefine, take this opportunity to reiterate every South African's right to freedom of conscience, religion, thought and belief as protected in section 15 of the Constitution.
“In addition, given South Africa's painful, racial and culturally oppressive past, we also align ourselves with the provisions of section 31 of the Constitution where the rights belonging to a cultural and religious group may not be denied,” he said.
Kronig described their employees actions as “degrading, undignified and devoid of human dignity”.
On social media, the centre manager was resoundingly trolled for claiming it was his mall and users wondered how he had been suspended from his own mall.
One Twitter user said the mall manager, Mr Maponyane, was reminded by his suspension that he was still a Maponyane, and not a Maponya – in reference to property mogul Richard Maponya who built the Maponya Mall in Soweto.
How do you suspend the owner from his mall? How is it possible.— Lunga (@Lunga_26) March 25, 2021
This man was feeling himself thinking he is a Maponya, and The Redefine Property Group reminded him that he is a Maponyane.
When Jose Maponyane said "This is my mall" i thought to myself wow how can you be so well established then lose your roots. Kanthe he’s a manager. Typical, just typical how a job title gives authority for some brothers to think they are above others. #JoseMaponyane #BouldersMall— Man’s NOT Barry Roux (@AdvoBarryRoux) March 25, 2021
Wait so they’ve suspended the guy from his own Mall?. 🤣🤣🤣😝. Didn’t he say he was the owner?. South Africa is alive with possibilities. #BouldersMall— El Chapo Guzman #Inkabi Ayizondi (@Nkinga_) March 25, 2021
I thought it's his Mall. . . pic.twitter.com/hIpIbAPn6J— Themba Kaebis (@Themba_kaebis) March 25, 2021
Did the ownee suspend the owner! Njani? It’s his moes pic.twitter.com/N9fDQRyVE9— #TshikaRigombo_MK (@MhlavaD_Mk) March 25, 2021
Kanjani?👀🤣It’s his mall moes pic.twitter.com/uSJZQ4279S— Gogo Muhlavasi🐐 (@dudufatso) March 25, 2021
The whites are going to fire that poor black man from his own mall 😭— Vusi Africa (@Vusiafrica) March 25, 2021
How did the Boulders Mall manager get suspended when he said it is his mall?— Marcus Jr. 🦁 (@dumisane_) March 25, 2021
So he got suspended from his own mall?😂😂😂😂😂😂
He has been asked to leave his mall.? Worse for him is with immediate effect. https://t.co/Iz0japwZQd— Sifiso (@SifisoShange977) March 25, 2021
He must be forced to study all eleven languages n their traditions in three months period before he can apologize pic.twitter.com/aA80GFyeXZ— Twice as Nice 🍥 (@OdwaSeti) March 25, 2021
He must be forced to wear his traditional attire for a month— David M (@DavidM38324442) March 25, 2021