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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

EFF calls for arrest of Shoprite manager after ‘cold room death’

33-year-old Bandile Tshabalala allegedly stole a chocolate bar at the Shoprite store in Ratanda.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in Gauteng has called for the arrest of a Shoprite store manager and the retail giant to take accountability following the death of 33-year-old Bandile Tshabalala who was allegedly locked in a cold room after he allegedly stole a chocolate bar.

Gauteng police spokesperson Colonel Noxolo Kweza said two men were accused of shoplifting at the Shoprite store in Ratanda, Nigel, on Sunday.

“Ratanda police have opened a case of common assault as well as an inquest docket. This follows an alleged incident where two men accused of shoplifting were locked at the back of the store.”

ALSO READ: UPDATE: Man dies after being locked in cold room for stealing chocolate


However, angry community members disputed the claim, alleging that Tshabalala was left in a cold room.

EFF spokesperson Dumisani Baleni said Tshabalala was an unemployed adult who had lost hope in securing employment.

“While the EFF does not condone theft or lawlessness, there is absolutely no justification for the management of Shoprite to take the law into their own hands by detaining a human being in a cold freezer for hours, leading to his untimely death.

“The EFF demands accountability for Mr. Tshabalala’s cruel death, particularly from the Shoprite store manager. The Shoprite store manager must be charged with murder, and all those who knew of this crime must be charged for their negligence and failure to report it,” said Baleni.

Shoprite reaction

He said Shoprite should compensate Tshabalala’s family because its employees took the law into their own hands.

Shoprite has extended its condolences to the family following their loss.

The supermarket chain told The Citizen it could not comment further on the details of the incident as it is a police matter.

“The allegations are seen in an extremely serious light and the necessary steps will be taken pending the outcome of a full investigation. We always give our full cooperation and provide all available information to the South African Police Service to assist their investigation,” said Shoprite.

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