Contralesa shocked by Ndebele attire video at Midrand mall

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The Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa) has reacted with shock to a video distributed on social media that shows a manager of a mall in Midrand telling a customer dressed in traditional Ndebele attire to leave.

In the video, the Boulders Shopping Center manager, Jose Maponyane, can be heard telling the man that he was not decently dressed.

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) in Gauteng has called for an urgent meeting with the management of the Boulders Mall.

Contralesa’s president Kgoshi Lameck Mokoena has described the incident as an insult to the African culture.

“Contralesa is shocked and dismayed at the treatment that one shopper was put through by the manager of the Midrand Mall. This was an insult not to that shopper only but to all of us custodian of culture and tradition.”

“We call upon the management of that mall to immediately remove that man. If they can’t do it we will assist them. Because as traditional leaders, we are going to mobilise our people to go and assist in removing that man if they can’t remove him,” explains Mokoena.

Meanwhile, Clicks says it will lay a formal complaint against the Boulders Shopping Center manager.

‘Undermine ethnic groups’

The amaNdebele Ndzundza Sokhulumi Traditional Authority has expressed its intention of approaching the Equality Court. The Council’s spokesperson, George Mahlangu, says the incident seeks to undermine ethnic groups in South Africa.

“We just realised how much we still need to educate our communities about our heritage and culture. We think that this is an incident, not only that seeks to undermine our culture, but it goes beyond and undermines all the other ethnic groupings in South Africa.”

“If you were to, for instance, attend the national opening of the House of Traditional Leaders, everyone is encouraged to dress in their traditional attire in Parliament. I can’t see how, as a country, we should be arguing about how people should be dressed in their culture,” explains Mahlangu.