She Was Humiliated And ‘Completely’ Stripped Naked Because She Is Black


Gauteng provincial police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini has intervened in the case of a black woman who was stripped ‘completely’ naked in a shopping mall last month.

53-year-old Lettia Mokoena said she was accosted by a clothing outlet employee, who accused her of stealing a pair of shoes.

The grandmother had just finished paying R1500 for her granddaughter’s cloths when the employee approached  her.

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She said the employee, who works at The Fix – formerly Fashion Express – store at Westgate Mall in Roodepoort turned hostile and instructed her to march to the fitting room for searching.

Mokoena said: “She said I stole two pairs of shoes. I agreed to be searched and she led me to the fitting room. She asked me to take off my dress and I did.

She then asked me to take off my tight and I did. I was left with my panties on and she said I was not done. She said I must take off my panties. I asked her why and she spoke to me rudely.

She said she was trained for the job and she knew what she was doing, so I took off my panties.

She instructed me to remove a sanitary pad i had on. She said I must remove it. I just stood there and looked at her. I had put my knees together to prevent it from falling. She then split my thighs with her hands. She did not find anything. She said I was free to go.”

The humiliated grandmother said she was saddened because the employee is younger than her own daughter. In addition, she was never reprimanded by mall’s manager.

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Mokoena said the clothing outlet employee and the store failed to show any remorse. “They are not showing any remorse. I am still hurting,” she said.

Speaking also, Mokoena’s daughter, Tshidi said: “The mere fact that the woman was not suspended shows they are not remorseful. Sorry alone is not enough. They treated my mother the way they did because she is black.

“They would never do that to a white person. She has no respect for the elderly. She had the nerve to even open her thighs and all they say is sorry; that is not acceptable.”

Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini Intervenes

Mokoena said Rooderpoort police station officer at the charge office and a detective she was referred to refused to deal with the case. She was rather asked to find a lawyer and open a civil case.

Contributing too, Gauteng provincial police spokesman, Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini, said: “Police may not refuse to open a complaint. The victim must complain to the station commander and if it established that the members neglected their duties, a misconduct case will be investigated.”