South Africa Outraged: Shoprite Guards Face Charges in Freezer Death Case

South Africa Outraged: Shoprite Guards Face Charges in Freezer Death Case

  • Two employees of a Shoprite in Ratanda, Heidelberg, are facing charges for their involvement in the death of Bandile Tshabalala
  • Tshabalala was allegedly locked in the store's walk-in freezer for several hours after being accused of stealing chocolate
  • Sandile Shangase and Kamohelo Tsoari will return to Heidelberg Magistrate's Court on 31 May 2024

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Zingisa Chirwa is an experienced Briefly News journalist based in Johannesburg, South Africa, who has covered current affairs on the radio for over 15 years.

Two security guards from the Shoprite in Ratanda, Heidelberg, appeared in court for their alleged role in the death of Bandile Tshabalala.
Two Shoprite security guards appeared in the Heidelberg Magistrate Court for the death of Bandile Tshabalala in Ratanda. Images: X/@Abramjee and Gett Images/Stock Image
Source: UGC

Two Shoprite security guards linked to the death of a man who was locked in a freezer appeared before the Heidelberg Magistrate's Court.

Duo charged with murder for freezer death

Sandile Shangase and Kamohelo Tsoari were each facing numerous charges, including murder and kidnapping.

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The duo was reportedly part of a group that locked Bandile Tshabalala and his friend in the Ratanda store’s walk-in freezer for several hours. According to SowetanLIVE, Tshabalala was accused of stealing chocolates on 19 May 2024. A report by EWN stated that the 33-year-old's death sparked outrage among residents who claimed that this was not the first time such action had taken place.

The lawyer representing Tshabalala’s family, Mabu Marweshe, said the postmortem showed that the 33-year-old died of unnatural causes, consistent with hypothermia. Marweshe told SowetanLIVE outside court on 22 May 2024 that they first pursued a criminal case before a civil action suit against Shoprite.

The two security guards were expected back before the court on 31 May 2024.

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South Africans appalled by the incident

Many netizens were shocked by the death of Tshabala and reiterated that people should refrain from taking the law into their own hands.

@DecideDied said:

“The court decides the punishment, not the staff or security.”

@Petite_Penny added:

“People in retail like to take matters into their own hands when catching thieves. There’s a process that needs to be followed.”

@LouisChanguion asked:

“Improve security measures. It is that simple. But you can't take the law into your own hands. If the person who committed the crime was apprehended, why didn't management call the police and also lay a charge of theft? When opening a store, you do a proper risk assessment.”

@sechabachippa pointed out:

“I've worked in retail. Most perpetrators choose punishment than face the law.”

@Kozzy_8 wondered:

“So shoplifting is fine?? Nahh man.”

Pongola school children crash driver sentenced to 20 years

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Briefly News reported that the truck driver who crashed into a bakkie carrying 18 children and two adults in Pongola was sentenced to 20 years in jail.

Sibusiso Siyaya was found guilty of 20 counts of murder, reckless and negligent driving, as well as fleeing the accident scene.

The NPA said since the court considered the murder counts as a single act, Siyaya was sentenced to 14 years for murder.

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Source: Briefly News

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Zingisa Chirwa (Editor) Zingisa Chirwa is an experienced broadcast journalist who has worked predominantly in radio newsrooms for over 15 years. Chirwa has occupied numerous positions, including news journalist, editor and current affairs host, focusing mainly on Mpumalanga politics and business. You can reach Zingisa at

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