Ndebele man refused entry into a store over his traditional clothing. Yet another Ndebele activist has been refused entry into a store because of his traditional clothing.
On January 11, Kgotso Mahlangu was this time prohibited from entering a Super Spar at the Moratiwa Mall in KwaDlawulale, Limpopo.
Kgotso claimed that he became thirsty while seeing someone at the mall.
“I went to the supermarket to buy a bottle of water. The security guard at the door said I must leave my bag at the parcel counter.
“I did as instructed, but the guard told me I am not allowed to enter the shop because I was n@ked,” said Kgotso.
“The manager and guard went to the office. They called me to follow them but I refused. I don’t know what they said in the office,” he said.
Kgotso told the publication he felt embarrassed during the incident.
“The guard embarrassed me in full view of people and they were laughing at me. I ended up not buying the bottle of water and left. I even left the mall and ended up not meeting the person I was waiting for. I’m not ashamed of my culture,” he said.
Kgotso is the second Ndebele activist who has been denied access to a store while dressed in traditional garb.
When he was turned away from a store at the Boulders Shopping Centre in Midrand in 2018 and the Gautrain in 2020, Thando Mahlangu received the same treatment.
Thando expressed his concern over how Ndebele people are treated when they wear their traditional garb.
“We really need to educate one another on our languages and culture. Kgotso has every right to wear his traditional regalia anywhere. It doesn’t have to be Heritage Day for him to wear his Ndebele attire.
“His cultural rights were violated by another black African. The way the matter was handled at Super Spar is not good. We need to escalate it and it should be taken very seriously,” he said.
The leader of Contralesa in Mpumalanga, Chief Siphosezwe Mahlangu, announced that he has called a conference with all Ndebele activists to discuss the issue.
“Our culture is being undermined and its a constitutional right for everyone to wear their cultural attire. White people wear mini skirts and no one bothers them. It is not written anywhere in malls that says no cultural attire is allowed. We are going to take this matter further,” he said.
Spar Lowveld divisional managing director, Wilma Mahne, said they are aware of the incident.
Wilma said: “While we are still getting all the relevant information and are engaging with the security company, we would like to apologize publicly and deeply to Kgotso Mahlangu and the SoGutjhe Royal House.
“We have reached out to Mr Mahlangu and the SoGutjhe Royal House for a meeting and an opportunity to apologize and work together on ways to improve cultural awareness.”
She said the refusal of entry is not in line with their values and beliefs.