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Centurion pregnant woman wants justice after ‘assault’ by security guard

A 35-year-old pregnant woman from Thatchfield, in Centurion, has threatened to leave no stone unturned in pursuit of justice. Ratilwe Mdaka opened a case of assault at the Olievenhoutbosch police station, and also consulted a lawyer about taking legal action after she claimed to have been assaulted by a security guard at a grocery store at the weekend, Rekord Centurion[1] reported. Mdaka, who went shopping with her two sons aged four and seven on Sunday morning, described her ordeal at a Checkers supermarket at the Forest Hill city mall.

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She said while they were inside the shop, her youngest son urgently needed to use the toilet, so she had asked a staffer if the boy could use the one inside the shop instead of her having to abandon the shopping trolley to take him to the regular public toilet 10 minutes away.

Being pregnant, it is difficult for me to push a trolley around, so I asked a shelve packer if he would take my son to the staff bathroom, which he did.

But he soon returned saying they were not allowed to use the facility, she said, adding that she had taken her son to ask for the favour in person. She said as she walked toward the toilet, someone had announced via the intercom: A pregnant lady with her two boys is approaching the staff-only entry. She is not to be admitted. Mdaka said: After trying to explain the situation to the security guard, he forcefully grabbed my wrist, and continually tightened his grip until my youngest son started crying.

My children couldn t understand what was happening, and were traumatised. I was taken to the store manager, who told me members of the public were not allowed to use the facilities. I thought that they would make an exception around the circumstances.

Mdaka said she had cried as she stood in the queue at the till.

I wanted to leave the trolley there, but then I would have had to drive to a shop further away from home, and it is difficult with my pregnancy. She said what made matters worse was that one of the employees had told her that white kids use the bathroom all the time .

Was I denied access because of my colour? Shoprite holdings spokesperson Sarita van Wyk told Rekord in a statement: We have been in contact with the customer today and assured her of our commitment to ensure a fair outcome.

She said Checkers expected its staff and contracted security guards to always treat customers with respect and care.

We take action when this has not been adhered to.

Like all retailers, we have strict security protocols in place that must be followed, which include certain procedures when unauthorised people enter restricted areas beyond the sales floor, for their own safety.

She said there were conflicting accounts of what happened, but the matter was being investigated, and action would be taken once all information was available.

Caxton News Service

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