The last time Clicks was making headlines, the EFF, spurred on by Julius Malema, was camped outside stores across the country.
This came after the retailer displayed ads on its website depicting white hair as ‘normal’ and ‘fine and flat’, whereas the images featuring black hair were described as ‘dry and damaged’ and ‘frizzy and dull’.
Given how many people usually have to approve an advert before it goes live on the site, this should never have happened.
Moving on to the latest incident at a Clicks store in Midrand Boulders, a shopping centre in Jozi.
News24 reports that a video doing the rounds shows the shopping centre manager, who had entered the store, asking a man in traditional Ndebele dress, Thando Mahlangu, to leave, saying that his attire was inappropriate.
“Let’s cut the long story short, we’ve got a right of admission. I do not condone this in my mall. So, ngicela uphume (please leave),” he continued.
“This is a public place, it is not decent.”
Mahlangu can be heard telling the manager, “you are wearing Western (clothes). This is Africa. Are you telling me I am not allowed to wear Africa in Africa?”
The video was shared by Mahlangu:
The Clicks store manager intervened and Mahlangu continued to shop. The retailer is also taking action and says that it will be issuing a formal complaint against the centre manager.
Boulders Shopping Centre also issued a statement saying that it “does not deny entry based on appearances and clothes”.
It is unfortunate that the incident that occured inside Clicks is being viewed as intolerant towards other cultures and clothes…We would like to state that based on various complaints from shoppers the person in question was asked to leave the store as his underwear indecently exposed him.”
Per Jacaranda FM, the Gauteng MEC for Sport, Arts and Culture, Mbali Hlophe, has also spoken out about the incident.
“It remains shameful that an African man would discriminate against another for merely wearing traditional wear. It shows we have a long way to go in decolonising the minds of some amongst us.”
Boulders Shopping Centre has apologised “unreservedly” for the incident, and the manager, Jose Maponyane, has been suspended with immediate effect, pending an internal investigation into the matter.
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