Oxford Freshmarket terminates relationship with popular TikTok influencers after discriminatory video goes viral

A screenshot of the video that has gone viral. Screenshot.

A screenshot of the video that has gone viral. Screenshot.

Published Jun 20, 2023


Durban - Oxford Freshmarket has terminated its relationship with a Durban couple following a viral video in which discriminatory remarks were made against the Hindu and Muslim communities.

In a statement released on its TikTok account, the supermarket said it was deeply appalled and upset by popular influencer duo The Beneke’s discriminatory video towards the Hindu and Muslim communities.

The video was recently circulated on social media and prompted the supermarket to terminate the relationship with the Beneke’s with immediate effect.

“We do not and never will tolerate racist, inflammatory or discriminatory views, remarks or hate speech and condemn the intolerant views expressed in this video in the strongest possible terms,” Oxford said in its TikTok statement.

A statement that was released by Oxford Freshmarket on their TikTok account.

A statement that was released by Oxford Freshmarket on their TikTok account.

“We would like to thank everyone who has brought this deeply offensive post to our attention and wish to assure you all, as a proudly multi-cultural organisation, we celebrate and respect the ethnic and religious diversity of every Oxford staff member, shopper and supplier.”

Oxford CEO Brett Latimer told IOL that he was proudly South African and deeply invested in the new South Africa that was multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi - religious.

“I myself will not tolerate anything that takes that away from us,” he told IOL.

Latimer said he was invested in South Africa since he was born and was deeply entrenched in the values of social cohesion.

In the circulated video Shelton Beneke appears to be speaking at a public event, saying he had been praying for people in Stanger and saw Muslims “come to Jesus”.

He also went on to say that the Islamic religion is from the “pit of h*ll”.

“All these gods that they serve is a lie from the devil,” Beneke said in the video.

He also had disparaging things to say about the bindis Hindu women wear on their foreheads.

This week Beneke posted a response to the video on his TikTok account.

He said the video being shared was “from about five or six years ago” and that he had since grown up.

“Me being a young Christian, did I say certain things that could be very hurtful to certain people?

“One hundred percent. Do I apologise to people that have been hurt by these things that have been said in the past, one hundred percent I do, I have grown up.”

Beneke said that he has since broadened his knowledge.

“Back then I was young, I would say stupid stuff. I am a completely different person right now,” he said.

“If that offended you, I sincerely apologise from the bottom of my heart. My intention is never to hurt anyone. Most important I respect everyone, regardless of their belief system or the colour of their skin.”

Concluding the video, Beneke cautioned people against being internet bullies by digging up dirt about him.

Shelton and his girlfriend Tiffany, are popular influencers who have over 200,000 followers on TikTok.

The couple share daily vlogs of their lives, which include eating out and reviewing eateries in and around KZN.

In addition the couple are building their dream beachside home and have taken viewers on a step by step journey on renovations.

Since the video emerged, many people said on social media that they used to admire the couple but would unfollow them.

The couple have since turned of the comments on their videos.