A Facebook video showing security personnel at Usave/Shoprite in Cosmo City assaulting a woman apparently because her child had messed herself around the shop’s premises has gone viral causing social media outrage against the retailing giant.
The video shows three security personnel manhandling the handcuffed woman while her child weeps for mercy. A passerby customer filmed the assault and is heard protesting that the woman has committed no crime and should not be assaulted.
The video taker and protester appears to be a Facebook user named, Thabiso Phinda, who posted the incident on Facebook and is said to have accompanied the woman to the police station to open a case against Usave/Shoprite.
The saga adds to a growing pile of videos of despicable behaviour of security personnel of major shopping brands. The message coming out of these incidents of assault of customers suggests that the implicated corporations are only interested in taking people’s money and don’t give a damn about safety and security of their customers. This attitude has no place in the 21st century where JSE listed corporations like Shoprite have pledged to be caring corporate citizens via the King codes and other statutes.
But the saga also shows the power that comes with social media allowing citizens to retaliate against corporate misbehaviour. The damage done to company brand because of such incidences are not negligible.
The outrage was palpable on the Cosmo City Facebook page with one user saying: “I hope police arrest this stupid securities and the company fire them or even fire the company doing security work in that shop.
ProBonoMatters has filed questions via email to Shoprite head office and had not received response by the time of going to press. We will update the story once we receive responses.
Shoprite responded to our questions on Sunday morning with the following message: “Kindly contact the centre management of Cosmo City Centre for comment on this matter. The incident leading up to the shopping centre security guards’ actions occurred in the centre and not in Usave.”