EDITORIAL | Shopping for excuses, apologies after the fact doesn’t cut it
Thando Mahlangu’s experience of social intolerance for wearing traditional garb at a shopping mall is unacceptable
In the month that brings renewed focus to human rights, enshrining dignity, cultural respect, freedom of religion and freedom of expression, a loud and rude argument in a shopping centre over a man wearing traditional attire is a jarring sound.
Ndebele activist and author Thando Mahlangu, was recently instructed to leave the Boulders shopping centre in Midrand, Johannesburg. His sin? Wearing traditional Ndebele garb.
It reminds of the incident in 2018 when Mahlangu — again in traditional dress — was kicked off the Gautrain. At the time, then Gautrain CEO Jack van der Merwe described the incident as “unfortunate” and argued that “appropriate” dress meant commuters should be wearing shoes, for safety reasons...