Man allegedly assaulted by guards for ‘stealing headache pills’
Share this article:
Pretoria - A Kit Kat Cash and Carry employee was hospitalised with body injuries, after being assaulted by company security guards for allegedly stealing headache pills while on duty at the retail store in Pretoria West.
Katlego Magaela, 23, spent a night at Kalafong Hospital, in Atteridgeville, where he was treated for body bruises and a swollen ear two weeks ago.
Magaela, a cleaner, met his fate after being accused of stealing packs of grandpa from the Kit Kat Cash and Carry’s distribution centre on April 18 – an accusation he has vehemently rejected.
He showed Pretoria News pictures of his body bruises, which he said were the result of the beating he suffered, allegedly at the hands of the company’s security guards. Police confirmed the incident.
Magaela said the guards assaulted him while he awaited a hearing in connection with the alleged theft.
“I picked up a pallet that was mostly rubbish and tried to drive it outside, only to be stopped by security, who found packs of grandpa at the bottom. I insisted that I did not cover those packs and a video would show that I just came with a forklift and tried to drive them out, as they are rubbish that would be dumped the next morning during the day shift,” Magaela said.
“The matter went quiet for a couple of days and, as I was waiting for a hearing to go and explain my case, some men came in a car and took me from the distribution centre to the head office, near the store on Church Street. When I got there, I was told to take a seat. Then about five men beat me up, saying cleaners have been stealing stock at the warehouse. They beat me up so badly that it took me this long to feel better,” said Magaela.
His uncle Gilbert Mashabela said he was disappointed that such a reputable store could resort to violence to resolve disagreements. “Let us say he stole them, even though I know he did not, why do you beat him up? There are procedures to deal with these things. You don’t take the law into your own hands. Why not call the police? They know what they did is wrong, and now his supervisor at the distribution centre Nadeem Soomar is trying to distance himself from the matter because they know what they did is wrong and illegal.
“He even called my nephew to ask him when he is returning to work. The store has bouncers who beat people up. It was not the first time they beat up someone. They cannot do things like this,” said Mashabela.
Soomar initially promised to return Pretoria News’ calls, but later referred all inquiries to a certain Zonaid at the retail store’s head office.
However, Pretoria News could not find Zonaid when we visited the Kit Kat Cash and Carry head office. Instead, another employee came out of the premises and took down the details of the reporter, saying the company’s management would revert to us. This has yet to happen.
Magaela said he laid criminal charges against the suspects at the Pretoria West police station, but never received any feedback.
Pretoria police spokesperson Captain Augustinah Selepe said they had arrested three suspects for common assault and released them on warnings in relation to Magaela’s assault. Selepe added that the police would take the matter to court only if instructed by the National Prosecuting Authority, based on compelling evidence.