The amaNdebele nation says cultural activist, Thando Mahlangu should be compensated by the Boulders mall in Midrand for the humiliation he suffered.
Mahlangu was ordered to leave the shopping centre this week due to him wearing his traditional attire, which the centre manager deemed inappropriate.
Ikosi Mkhambi Mahlangu of the Sokhulumi Traditional Authority in Sokhulumi, outside Pretoria, met with the Human Rights Commission on Friday.
The incident of Mahlangu being ordered to leave a Clicks store took social media by storm, with many expressing shock and disappointment at the centre manager, Jose Maponyane.
Now the amaNdebele nation wants serious action to be taken against Maponyane and the owners of the centre, Redefine properties.
They want the 35-year-old to be compensated financially, a public apology by Maponyane to the Ndebele nation, and the company to pay for an educational TV advertisement on Ndebele culture.
AmaNdebele nation spokesperson, Ikosi Mahlangu, says Mahlangu was not at fault. “Thando was not at fault, he was practicing what he learned from home. The fault lies with the mall. I believe he should be compensated as the community has alluded, he must be compensated. His rights were violated, he deserves compensation. He must choose for himself, even if it’s a million. They violated his rights.”
Mahlangu has appealed to the Human Rights Commission to take strong action against the Boulders mall. He says the Ndebele people have been marginalised for a long time.
“People are suffering, please take action and help us revive our dignity. We’ve been preaching the same thing. What type of government. We ask that the concerns of the community be addressed.”
The Human Rights Commission expressed shock and disgust at the incident. The commission’s Buang Jones, says they will be meeting with the Boulders management on Monday.
“I went to the mall to meet with the manager at Clicks to acknowledge and recognise the role we play in acknowledging the rights of Mr. Thando Mahlangu. We also requested a meeting, an urgent meeting with the mall or centre management. We couldn’t meet yesterday but have agreed to meet on Monday. We have heard your concerns, your wishes, your interests.”
In 2018, Mahlangu was also barred from boarding the Gautrain after he was told his outfit was inappropriate.
Saddest reality in Africa, I was subjected to inside the @Clicks_SA store at The Boulders Shopping Center. By the center manager, who said it was his shopping complex. I was told that I’m wearing inappropriate I must go & Omega risk solutions harassed me #NdebeleTwitter pic.twitter.com/klzmTQspJO
— #WeNeedAmaNdebeleOnTV (@thandomahlangu_) March 24, 2021