A gay Cape Flats man claims he was moered by two security guards who accused him of being a “skelme moffie”.
The 38-year-old has laid a charge of assault with police, saying he was left humiliated by the alleged incident, which took place on Friday at the Shoprite store in Military Road, Retreat.
Leon “Lati” Solomons is a well known hairstylist in Lavender Hill, and says: “Die guards het die vel van my gesig afgetrek (The guards embarrassed me).”
He was at the shop with his mother Sarah Gordon, 59, last Thursday, but they returned the next day.
He says as soon as he entered the store, a security officer grabbed him by the face and pushed him out, punching him in the face and the body.
“The guy did not give me a chance to speak, I was being beaten up and a second security rukked (pulled) me by my bolla (bun),” claims a fuming Leon.
“And as they beat me out of the shop, they said all us ‘coloured people’ come in there to steal.
“A lady who works there stopped it all by telling the guys ‘dit was nie daai moffie nie (it wasn’t that gay man)’ and they let me go.”
He asked for the manager, identified as Mr January, who called in the two guards.
“He told the guards to apologise. They just laughed, saying it’s the wrong moffie,” says Leon.
An hour later, Leon says “everyone” in Lavender Hill knew he had been accused of theft.
The hairstylist claims he lost “nearly R4 000 in earnings” over the weekend as customers cancelled.
“It’s embarrassing and ek is dan daai meisie (I’m a female).
“Nou word ek accuse van by Shoprite steel ( Shorprite accused me of stealing) and all my customers left me. I laid a charge and the officer told me they already have the thief in custody, who is light of complexion and looks nothing like me,” he says.
Police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk confirms: “A charge of assault common was opened and will be investigated against the security guards.”
Shoprite spokesperson Sarita van Wyk said the security staff acted of their own volition, mistaking the customer for a person arrested on shoplifting charges the previous day.
“The supermarket chain does not condone any rough and unfair treatment of its customers and is taking up the matter with centre management,” she said.
She stressed that the security staff is not contracted to Shoprite and does not operate under instruction of the branch manager.
“Shoprite regrets that an unpleasant incident took place in its store and can only reiterate the apologies offered by the branch manager on Friday when he discussed the matter with the customer and resolved the mistaken belief of the centre security guard,” adds Van Wyk.