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Man’s death sparks destructive rumours

The man died at the store after complaining about stomach pains.

Ratanda SAPS has appealed to the community to refrain from spreading false news.

This follows the death of a 33-year-old man at Shoprite Ratanda on Sunday.

Rumours soon started circulating, however, that a 13-year-old boy had died at the supermarket.

It was stated he had been caught stealing a chocolate and was detained in the store’s cold room, where he died.

Despite not being true, the community descended on the store on Monday, where damage was caused to the shop’s main door and the manager’s vehicle.

The Public Order Police and Inyathi Protection Services were on the scene to calm the situation.

What actually transpired, according to police, is that two men were apprehended by store security on Sunday morning for shoplifting.

The community retaliated and smashed the glass of a door at the supermarket.

They were taken to a holding facility at the back of the store where they were kept until the police could arrive.

At around 16:00, one of the men asked to go the toilet. He later told the security guard that he was experiencing stomach pains.

Paramedics were called and arrived at the store at 20:58, where after he was declared dead.

The SAPS were notified and arrived on the scene at 21:10.

Ratanda SAPS spokesperson Sergeant Moss Maluleke confirmed the death and age of the man. It was also confirmed that the matter is is under investigation.

Shoprite Holdings issued a statement regarding the incident, which reads as follows:

“The supermarket chain extends its condolences to the family following their loss.

“The allegations are seen in an extremely serious light and the necessary steps will be taken pending the outcome of a full investigation.

“We cannot comment on the details of the incident as it is a police matter, and the local South African Police Service (SAPS) should be contacted for more information.

“We always give our full cooperation and provide all available information to the SAPS to assist their investigation.”

The store manager’s car windows were also smashed.

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