'We are not trying to hide evidence' - Spur on play pen footage

Johannesburg - Restaurant chain Spur has denied claims that it tried to conceal evidence about the angry exchange between two parents at its Texamo outlet in Oakdene, Johannesburg, last weekend.

Spur Group CEO Pierre van Tonder told News24 on Friday that the only reason they had not released the footage of the play area, where one girl allegedly hurt another girl, was mainly because the children of other customers could also be seen.

"Due to the sensitive nature of the incident, because of other children being involved, you will appreciate the fact that we were reluctant to release the video footage to the general public," Van Tonder said.

News24 was allowed to see the footage at the company's head office in Woodmead on Friday morning.

It shows two girls following one another down a set of stairs into the play area. They then disappear behind a play structure which obstructs the camera’s view. However, the girls can be seen playing with one another and other children in the area. At one point, one girl runs out of the area, and then runs back in. Shortly after that, both girls walk out, followed by some of the other children.

It is still unclear what happened during the time they were out of the camera’s view. However, when both girls walk out of the play area, there is no sign that either one is distressed, crying, or hurt.

On Sunday, a man believed to be Nico Viljoen, from Orkney, North West, accosted Lebohang Mabuya at a table, where she was sitting with a number of children. He accused her god-daughter of hitting his daughter on the head in the play area.

WATCH: Spur releases CCTV footage of altercation


A cellphone recording of the incident, in which they were heard screaming profanities at each other, was shared on social media, sparking nationwide outrage.

On Wednesday, Spur apologised to Mabuya, saying her version of events was correct after viewing the CCTV footage themselves. Viljoen was subsequently banned from ever setting foot in a Spur restaurant in the country.

On Thursday, Spur released the CCTV footage of the altercation between Viljoen and Mabuya to the public. This was met with mixed reaction, and some people called for footage of the play area to also be released.

Van Tonder told News24 that the company was considering releasing the footage, but until that decision was taken, he was adamant there was no attempt to hide anything from the public.

"I am sure you will appreciate that we are highly sensitised to the fact that there were other children playing in the area at the time," he said.

On Thursday, Mabuya said her son had suffered emotional trauma after video footage of the incident trended online.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.