According to the victim of an assault that took place on the premises of a Food Lover’s Market at Lenasia’s Trade Route Mall, he was beaten up because of a cap on the afternoon of Sunday, February 25, Rising Sun Lenasia reports.
This after a video of a worker being beaten up in a fruit and vegetable store in Lenasia emerged on social media earlier this week.
The victim, Banele Mdingazwe, says he had been instructed to wear a Food Lover’s branded cap by one of his senior co-workers while busy cutting a watermelon. When he replied that he would wear the cap as instructed after washing his hands, an argument allegedly ensued and resulted in him being pushed around by the co-worker.
“Another co-worker then approached us and punched me in the face while I had a knife in my hand. He then attempted to grab the knife out of my hand, but before I knew it, the supervisor was strangling me,” Banele said.
According to Banele, he does not remember what transpired thereafter as he became drowsy and lost consciousness.
“When I saw the video, I was shocked to see I had been on the floor,” he said.
He was then taken by security personnel to a ‘dirty room’ where he was locked up for about three hours.
Three people were arrested on Tuesday, February 27, and released on bail .
After hearing about the incident, the Region G Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) branch heeded the call to support the victim. The EFF marched to the store as well as to the Lenasia Police Station demanding that justice take its course.
“We believe the attack was racially motivated, as this is not the first time such an incident happens at the store. Someone needs to stand up for the voiceless, and in this matter it is the workers,” Thabang Mollo said.
According to staff member Sizwe Majila, he was ordered to delete the video, which has since gone viral on social media.
The Rising Sun Lenasia is in possession of messages exchanged by the manager and Majila, which threaten him with court action if the footage is revealed to the police.
The victim alleges the suspects wanted to buy his silence.
“They offered me R6 000 not to open a case against them. But I did not accept it, as I felt it was a slap in my face,” Ndingazwe said.
Food Lover’s Market confirmed the incident to The Citizen and Rising Sun Lenasia on Tuesday, 27 February.
“From our investigation into this incident, it has come to light that the team member who is being restrained and held to the ground had, prior to the filming of this incident, attempted to stab his colleague with a knife,” the statement read.
The statement went on to say: “The supervisor, who can be seen in the footage sitting astride the team member, intervened to disarm the team member and prevent him from stabbing his colleague.”
Lenasia SAPS spokesperson Captain Hector Netshivhodza also confirmed the incident.
“Three suspects were arrested. We are investigating a case of Assault with the intention to cause Grievous Bodily Harm” he said.
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