May 21, 2024

Dying for chocolate?

The police have opened an inquest after the death of a man at Shoprite
Photo: X

While the community of Ratanda in Heidelburg protested outside a local mall yesterday following the death of 33-year-old Bandile Tshabalala allegedly inside a Shoprite cold room, the police confirmed they are only investigating a case of common assault and have opened an inquest into his death.


It's alleged that Bandile was locked inside cold room by the store manager for more than 11 hours as a punishment for stealing chocolate at the store on Sunday night.  Gauteng police spokesperson Colonel Noxolo Kweza said Tshabalala and another man who were accused of shoplifting were locked at the back of the store. "During closing time, one of the men aged 33, complained of stomach aches, and paramedics were called, and he was declared dead on the scene,' said Kweza said. Speaking to Daily Maverick, Tshabalala's sister Simangele said they were called to the mall on Sunday night where his body was found placed outside Shoprite. "What I saw broke my heart. His body was frozen, he could not move or anything; it's like he died while trying to keep himself warm with hands wrapped around his upper body,' Simangele said.


In a statement late yesterday, Shoprite extended its condolences to Tshabalala's family and said they view the allegations 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.'

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