A man has been banned from all Shoprite stores after assaulting a heavily pregnant Shoprite cashier at a store in Strand.
Eight months pregnant Zimkhitha Xhalabile from New Village in Nomzamo had just closed her cash register at the Shoprite in Broadway Mall on September 9 when a male customer approached her and demanded service.
“The closed sign was there, he removed it and said I had not left, I must assist him,” Xhalabile told GroundUp.
Xhalabile first argued with the customer saying he should use another till but when he became aggressive she had no choice but to assist him.
“While I scanned his items we kept on exchanging words, with him issuing insults, saying for me to get paid he has to buy and I must respect him as a customer.”
The assault was caught on the instore camera where the customer can be seen arguing with Xhalabile before punching her. A security guard came closer to support Xhalabile during the argument and the customer was removed from the store by security and the manager.
“I had to call my husband for him to take me to the hospital then later to the police station to open a case. Shoprite did not apprehend the man who assaulted me. He was escorted out by the security.”
Xhalabile’s husband said when he arrived to fetch his wife she was crying and was visibly red in the face from the altercation. She was bruised as well.
She was given four days off and told to come back to work once she was ready to get over the experience.
“I got counseling once and I was told to go face my demons if I want to move past the whole situation. I was denied leave since I will be going on maternity leave soon.”
Xhalabile expressed fear of seeing the man again, afraid she might be assaulted again.
GroundUp contacted the Shoprite media team for comment, who communicated that the company strongly disapproved of the customer’s conduct.
“It is unfortunate that an unhappy customer decided to physically attack one of our employees who had already closed her till but continued to assist the customer when he insisted on concluding his transaction at the till point. Security and management on duty, along with customers who witnessed the incident immediately intervened and aided the staff member, whose husband transported her to the hospital for a thorough examination when the ambulance service called, could not immediately assist.”