Shoprite manager accused of K-word slur cleared by lie detector test

Protesting employees outside Shoprite supermarket in Southgate shut down the store for hours on Monday after employees were allegedly called 'lazy k***rs'.
Protesting employees outside Shoprite supermarket in Southgate shut down the store for hours on Monday after employees were allegedly called 'lazy k***rs'.
Image: Provided

A Shoprite regional manager who was under investigation after allegedly referring to black employees as lazy k*****s has been found not guilty.    

In a letter seen by TimesLIVE, Shoprite said the manager was cleared after she, alongside a branch manager, were subjected to polygraph tests, the results of which indicated “no deception”.  

Last month, workers at three supermarkets in Johannesburg, including Southgate and Ridgeway, halted work protesting against alleged abuse suffered under the manager.  

“On October 1 2019, the chairperson of the disciplinary hearing found (the manager) not guilty on the following charges … that (she) used unacceptable derogatory language, when addressing the staff ... that (her) actions have brought the company's name into disrepute and her actions are in breach of company rules and regulations … ” read a letter signed by Shoprite’s legal team.  

The alleged k-word incident was what prompted staff members to embark on protest action for four days. 

Shoprite said the “illegal strikes” led to loss of business and inconvenience. 

“The illegal strikes caused substantial financial and reputational damage to the company ... customers were inconvenienced and some staff members were victimised, threatened and pulled off their work stations by other staff members... " the letter stated.  

In an earlier communication, the supermarket said the k-word incident would be investigated alongside other complaints against the manager. Attempts to get further feedback on the investigation(s) were unsuccessful at the time of publishing.

During the protest action, a case of crimen injuria was opened at Mondeor police station. The manager was arrested, according to the letter. 

Police spokesperson Capt Jerbes Bruyn confirmed a police investigation was under way but could not provide further details at the time of publishing. 


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