Sandton City Mall accused of being pro-Israel

Al Jama-ah leader Thapelo Amad in Sandton on Saturday. Picture: Sipho Jack

Al Jama-ah leader Thapelo Amad in Sandton on Saturday. Picture: Sipho Jack

Published Apr 7, 2024


The scuffle that broke out at the Sandton City Mall on Saturday after the mall’s security contingent refused people dressed in pro-Palestinian regalia from entering the mall has caused an uproar against Sandton City.

The scuffle followed the mass anti-Israel protest outside the US consulate in Sandton earlier on Saturday afternoon.

Several people in pro-Palestine T-shirts simply wanted to walk through the mall to the Sandton B1 parking where they had left their cars. The security unit refused for journalists to record the incident and forced The Star’s reporter Sipho Jack to delete videos he had recorded of the scuffle.

Former Joburg mayor Thapelo Amad confronted the security officers, arguing that if members of the public were being manhandled, the public had the right to take pictures. At the protest, organiser Dr Seyed Hoseini told attendees that people from all walks of life were in protest against Israel.

“The whole world, including the International Court of Justice, agreed that what was happening in Gaza was a genocide,” he said.

“We are expecting about five to ten thousand protesters, who are in solidarity with the Palestinians. The reason we are here is to show Americans that they can’t keep on funding and supporting Israel in the senseless killing and bombing of the Palestinians,” said Hoseini.

He said the Israeli onslaught against Palestine was an injustice of the highest order, and those who did not speak out against it were equally guilty of what he called heinous crimes against humanity and the people of Palestine.

Attempt to get a comment from the mall’s security and management were unsuccessful.

A security officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the publication that they were instructed to not speak to any media people.

“I can’t help you we are not allowed to speak to the media. Management is not at the office, and we are not allowed to share their contact details,” she said.

Al Jama-ah party spokesperson Sinazo Mtshengu said the party condemned the Sandton City Mall management’s behaviour, saying that they showed prejudice and acted with violence against civilians.

“We are noting that the mall had deployed a heavily armed security personnel to the peaceful protest at the US consulate, the act alone is a demonstration and a commitment to their bias nature of prejudice.

“The peaceful protest wasn’t taken to the mall and was not on the mall’s property, rather the property of the consulate. Therefore the military response of the mall and its security is questionable, as there was state trained security at the event itself in the form of the JMPD,” Mtshengu added.

“About five or six civilians who were part of the protest were denied access to mall, where they had parked their cars. They simply needed to walk through the mall to get to their vehicles; however, this was denied to them.

“We are extremely disappointed at the management of the Sandton City Mall, for undermining citizens and the constitutional democracy of South Africa. We wonder if all customers are welcome to shop in Sandton City Mall or are at risk of being scrutinised and discriminated by rogue armed securities, resembling apartheid forces, deployed by the mall,” Al Jama-ah said.

The Star

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