Tuesday, 5 May 2020


Angry residents in Soweto yesterday forced the Food Lover's Market at Jabulani Mall to close after one of its employees had been told to go into a 14-day quarantine on suspicion that she had Covid-19.

The worker was allegedly told to self-quarantine after displaying Covid-19 symptoms in mid-April, but when her colleagues questioned their superiors, they were apparently told that she had flu.

Residents in the area stormed the outlet on Sunday, confronted the managers and forced the store to close, but police officers were called to the scene and dispersed the crowd.

Community members returned again yesterday after finding out the store was open and once again forced it to close its doors.

A staff member, who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals, told Sowetan their colleague seemed sick around Easter.

"It first started with a cough, but we didn't take much note of it because we were all busy. There are sanitisers in the store and we were given masks. But we found it odd when she did not report for work for 14 days and only returned on Friday [May 1]," the staffer said.

He said they confronted their managers and they were still told that their colleague had flu.

"How can they tell us that she had the flu for two weeks? Is that not a coincidence? Why did they not tell us to also quarantine? This means they don't care about our wellbeing and that of our families because if she has Covid-19, we might have it and our families might have it. Many customers might have it," he said.

He said the employee was taken to get tested yesterday and they were waiting for the results.

"We'll have to see what the results are, but we hope they are negative," he said. When the Sowetan team visited Jabulani Mall yesterday, it found the store closed.

Many of the employees wearing face masks were sitting in the store and seemed bewildered by the closure.

The franchise's spokesperson Nigel Meintjes denied the staff member tested positive for Covid-19 nor had any proof been produced to them. Sowetan


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