Manager of fresh produce chain in Bloemfontein suspended over alleged racist remarks

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The manager of a fresh produce chain in Bloemfontein has been suspended following alleged racists remarks he made to a customer during an argument.

The man, who is known to Courant, came under fire after Bongani Ndlovu posted a video of the incident on his Facebook page. The trouble started when Ndlovu approached the manager to complain that a security guard had mistreated him during an exchange over which entrance to use.

Ndlovu claims the manager became aggressive and slapped a smoothie out of his hand.

“In the heat of that moment, he then said to me, ‘You blacks think you can do whatever you want to do’. I then took out my phone and said, ‘can you say that on camera?’. He then got out of the car very aggressively. The assistant manager then tried to take the phone away from me while I was recording.”

Cliff Lomberg, the regional manager of the fresh produce chain, said the store does not condone the manager’s actions, which were out of character, adding that investigations are ongoing.

“I’ve suspended the manager pending an investigation. I’ve also sent the manager to hospital, he’s obviously suffering from post-traumatic stress. Three and a half weeks ago they held up the shop and they put a gun in his mouth. He’s not an aggressive guy by nature but he did what he did.”

Ndlovu has not opened a case with the South African Police Service. He however says he has received numerous pro-bono offers from lawyers to follow up on the case and is considering taking legal action. – Pulane Choane
pulane@centralmediagroup.co.za