The panel was required to extensively investigate the alleged racist incident involving a white man threatening to attack a black woman with violence in front of children‚ patrons and staff inside a Spur restaurant at the Glen Shopping Centre in Johannesburg.
However, the panel has been cancelled without warning.
HuffPost SA reported the cancellation came as a surprise for head of the panel Elmien du Plessis.
“Spur requested, for its own reasons, at the 11th hour that the panel not go ahead. The panel is disappointed in this outcome, as the members were committed to being part of this innovative idea from Spur,” she said.
Many on social media called for a boycott of the restaurant franchise after a shocking video of the incident went viral. Spur CEO Pierre van Tonder consequently requested Du Plessis to convene an independent committee that would be provided with all facts and video footage of the incident.
Continuous calls to boycott the franchise resulted in the panel initially being postponed before coming to a complete standstill.
The objective of the panel was to prevent backlash from similar incidents that may occur in future by making recommendations to Spur on how to act accordingly.
In order to achieve this, the company required all Spur branches to wholly commit, said Du Plessis.
“For an independent panel like this to have a real impact, it needs commitment from the entity being investigated to consider and implement the findings of the panel.”