The Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Rights Commission) has recommended that the manager of the Boulders Mall in Midrand, who forced a man to leave the centre for being dressed in traditional regalia, be reinstated in his position while undergoing training on cultural diversity.
The commission made its recommendations after several hearings at its offices in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. Ndebele activist, Thando Mahlangu, was in a store at the mall when he was ordered to leave after being told that his clothing was indecent.
Jose Maponyane, the centre manager responsible, was suspended by Redefine Properties the day after the incident.
The CRL Rights commission finalised the matter between Boulders centre manager Jose Maponyane and Ndebele activist Thando Mahlangu.
The commission’s David Mosala recommended that Redefine Properties reinstate Maponyane with immediate effect, as endorsed by Mahlangu. He said Maponyane must undergo training on cultural diversity to ensure that a similar incident doesn’t happen again.
“Mr Jose Maponyane is to undergo training on religious rights and religious practices. To the redefine property to reinstate Mr Maponyane as he was a victim of a lost heritage created by the past inequalities and this is a special request by my Thando Mahlangu which is endorsed by the commission.”
Boulders Mall centre manager apologises for his actions
Maponyane publicly apologised to Mahlangu at the commission, admitting that he was wrong and acted improperly.
“I sincerely apologize of my actions to Thando Mahlangu and Nqobile Masuku. I want to make sure that the unfortunate situation does not happen anywhere again within our law.”
Following the hearings, Mahlangu said all languages and cultures needed to be promoted more.
“Currently I am challenging the minister of arts and culture to promote all the languages we have in South Africa. I am challenging the president of the country to one day when he decides to address the nation he must address the nation in Tshivenda. And all the cultural activists to stand for what they believe in to make sure their presence is felt.”
Redefine Property has six months to review its policies. The commission has also recommended that the company annually marks March 24th, the day the incident took place, with cultural exhibitions to promote awareness of the country’s diversity.
CRL Rights Commission holds hearings on the Boulders Mall incident: