MATSAPHA: Colani Hlatjwako, the One Billion Rising Africa Coordinator said as a women’s rights organisation they were calling for the boycott of Matsapha Build-it Hardware for abusing a woman vendor.
This comes after an incident whereby the vendor was abused by the store’s Manager on Tuesday, the Manager allegedly harassed and spilt her wares on the ground, the story was reported by the Times of eSwatini.
Speaking to this Swaziland News, the Coordinator said they strongly condemned the manager’s actions and they appreciated efforts by other human rights organisations who are planning to stage a campaign against the Hardware.
“The Manager’s act is an insult not only to the lady but to the public at large. We cannot sit and allow people take the law to their hands. He should have reported to the police if the lady was selling there illegally or was a threat to his business. Such conduct is the reflection of how the Hardware owners treat its customers and also the employees, hence it’s a call to all Emaswati to stop supporting such shops who do not value people’s rights. Let’s stop supporting Matsapha Build It, until its owners issue a public apology and adequately compensate the lady for the damage and trauma caused by the Manager”, she said.
Bethulisile Mabuza, the woman who was abused said the incident left her deeply traumatised and would be taking the hardware to court.
“I used to sell my fat cakes within Hardware premises and this Manager used to be friendly towards me until on this particular day when he felt that there were too many people around, some of which were my customers. He shouted unpalatable words at me, saying I should evacuate the place immediately. I apologised to him but he kicked my bucket and the fat cakes were strewn all over the place. This was a traumatic experience, I have been selling my baked goods at this Shopping Complex since December and this is my family’s only source of income. The Manager has now offered to pay for the spoilt stock as a sign of apology and I will not settle for that as I will be taking the matter to court”, she said.
When reached for comments, Sabelo Masuku, the Commissioner of the Human Rights and Integrity Commission (HRIC) said the complainant was welcomed to report the matter at the Commission.
“Every citizen has a right to report to the Commission for any alleged infringement on their rights. It is incumbent upon the commission to investigate that. It would not be wise for the commission to comment before carrying out an investigation into the matter as there are always two sides of a story. At this stage we would like to advise the complainant to report the matter to us so we can investigate it. But I must mention that sometimes we don’t wait for a matter to be reported to us, we are informed by the persistence of such human rights violations at the implicated institutions. Our report findings and recommendations, they then don’t concentrate only to the parties involved. We will have a remedy for the parties directly and also warn other would be offenders about the consequences of such actions”, said the Commissioner.
Bethusile Mabuza, the vendor who was abused by a Manager