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Restoring Dignity

SAHRC hopes for ‘reconciliatory session’ between suspended Boulders’ manager and ejected Ndebele shopper

March 29, 2021

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) is hoping for reconciliation between suspended Boulders Mall manager Jose Maponyane and Ndebele activist Thando Mahlangu.
Last week a video surfaced on social media showing Mahlangu at the mall in Midrand, shopping in his traditional Ndebele attire.

Centre manager Maponyane takes exceptions to Mahlangu’s outfit – asking him to leave the mall, saying the attire was "not decent".

Maponyane came under fire over the incident.

The commission rushed to remedy the situation.

Provincial head Buang Jones met with traditional Ndebele traditional leaders in the wake of the incident and met with the mall’s management on Monday.

Jones says he also a “fruitful” engagement with the mall’s management on Monday.  

“The CEO of Redefine Properties was in attendance together with his legal representatives and the management team. We reflected on the incident, the steps taken, the circumstances that led to this incident and the remedial action they propose going forward,” said Jones.  

“It is during the meeting that we then suggested that the centre management and Redefine Properties should consider a training intervention under the auspices of the South African Human Rights Commission to assist in improving diversity management and understanding by their frontline staff and centre management.”

Redefine Properties will also host a cultural exhibition where different cultures will be able to showcase their cultural practices through the display and sale of cultural traditional attire, artefacts and an information session on indigenous knowledge systems.

Jones admitted the incident is alarming.  

“Of course, it is regrettable that 26 years into our democracy we are still grappling with incidents of this nature. It is something that requires a lot of work.

“Our diversity is something that is unique, something that should be celebrated. It is an advantage and not a disadvantage and that’s what makes South Africa.”

Maponyane was suspended last week.

“Mr Maponyane remains suspended. We have indicated that we are keen to independent facilitate a reconciliation session between Mr Thando Mahlangu and Mr Jose Mapaonyane,” Jones added.  

“It will be a wonderful day when the two can have a cultural exchange, the two can find time to reflect on this incident and to find a solution that is not imposed by any organisation, institutions or individuals.”

Source: Jacaranda FM

The South African Human Rights Commission.

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The Human Rights Commission is the national institution established to support constitutional democracy. It is committed to promote respect for, observance of and protection of human rights for everyone without fear or favour.

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