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WATCH: Flies and rats cover the Malanshof Spar after shutting its doors for almost a year

MALANSHOF – Rats, faeces, and rubbish filled the aisles of the shop as cleaners take to the massive task of getting the store clean again.

MALANSHOF – The sight and smell were overwhelmingly pungent after the doors of the Malanshof Spar were opened, almost one year since it closed its doors.

According to the owner of the premises Stelios Ioannou, the store has been closed since April 2016.

“I have no idea why they closed the store; it was making so much money and was next to a busy road – it makes no sense,” said Ioannou.

He has owned this store since 1998 and apparently had been leasing it to another person, who had then put himself into liquidation.

No one has been allowed into the store to remove produce and stock since its closing. The smell emanating from inside the store was positively revolting. Rat droppings covered nearly every inch of the floors. Rats, both dead and alive, were littered in between produce and stock. An inordinate amount of stock had both been chewed and eaten or had been left on the shelves to decompose over the year.

Flies and maggots covered everything that was not already completely rotten or had disintegrated.

Ward 104 councillor, Mike Wood said there has been a long legal battle involving Spar, the owners of the store and liquidators.

“The City of Johannesburg‘s Department of Health has been in discussions with the relevant people for some time to clean out the filth inside the store. It is a clear violation of health and safety regulations,” said Wood.

Finally, today, Ioannou was given the keys by the lawyers to open the store in order to clean up the mess. The department of health was apparently not notified that this would be taking place.

“These are my people that are cleaning the store and I will make sure that everything is done properly. The lawyers wanted to charge me over R63 000 to clean the store through their people – I said no!” explained Ioannou.

According to Ioannou, Spar will be taking over both the store and Tops.

Spar head office management said they are aware and regret that the situation exists. A full statement and comment will follow shortly.

Wood said, “I am pleased that we have reached an agreement to get it cleaned. We will be insisting that the owners and Spar provide us with verification and certificates of the cleaning because the landlord is using his own cleaners to complete the job.”

“A new shop is expected to be opened that will service the community of Malanshof. We apologise for any trouble it has caused,” added Wood.


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