WATCH | Man in Ndebele attire told to leave Clicks store by mall management for dressing 'indecently'

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  • A video being circulated on social media shows a man dressed in traditional Ndebele attire being told by a shopping centre manager that what he was wearing was inappropriate. 
  • Responding after an outcry, Clicks said a shopping centre manager had told the customer to leave.
  • The shopping centre said complaints were received from shoppers regarding the customer, and he was asked to leave the store as the exposure of his underwear was regarded as indecent.

A video has surfaced of a man dressed in traditional Ndebele attire being told by a Gauteng shopping centre manager to leave as what he was wearing was inappropriate.

In the video, which has been shared on social media platforms, Ndebele activist Thando Mahlangu is seen being spoken to sternly by the manager. The manager can be heard telling Mahlangu: "Let's cut the whole story short; we have a right of admission… It's a public place; you are dressing indecently. It's not decent."

Mahlangu is then 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 manager is heard telling Mahlangu "it is his mall" and maintains the store has a right of admission.

READ | Man in Ndebele garb wants to sue Gautrain after he was barred from boarding train

"Clicks Midrand Boulders did not ask a customer dressed in Ndebele traditional wear to leave the store. The centre manager of Boulders, accompanied by Boulders Centre security, entered the Clicks store and demanded that the customer leave. The Clicks store manager intervened and asked the centre manager to leave. The customer was allowed to continue shopping. We are extremely embarrassed by the centre manager's behaviour and will be putting in a formal complaint," Clicks said in a statement on Wednesday.

In a statement from the Boulders Shopping Centre, it apologised "unreservedly" for the incident that took place at Clicks.

"The centre would like to clarify that it does not deny entry based on appearances and clothes. It is unfortunate that the incident that occurred inside Clicks is being viewed as intolerant towards other cultures and clothes. We would like to state that based on various complaints received from shoppers the person in question was asked to leave the store as his underwear indecently exposed him.

ALSO READ | Hair row: EFF gives Unilever 24 hours to 'explain itself', and will meet with Clicks on Thursday

"We neither had nor have any intentions of hurting or discriminating against anyone based on their cultural beliefs and practices. The exchange in the video does not represent the core beliefs and values of the centre. We take this opportunity to once again apologise to those who feel hurt by the incident. The decision was taken in the interests of other shoppers and employees of the mall."

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