An established, popular eating joint in Johannesburg, South Africa, was forced to shut down, amid allegations that racism may be at play. Mash Braai House was forced to shut down, and the owner, Ngwato Mashilwane, made reference of the fact of how he has been in a dispute with his landlord and now 57 employees have lost their jobs.
As said by Mashilwane, the landlord was of the view that Mashilwane did not keep his place clean, as the landlord believed it was always "filthy". The landlord claimed that other tenants at Buzz Shopping Centre forced him to evict Mash Braai House, due to this reason.
"It has also been brought to our attention that tenants in the centre have withheld payment of rents until Mash is removed from the centre."
To his vindication and defence, Mashilwane said that his place is always clean. He now suspects that racism might be at play. He says that his staff "always clean [the restaurant] thoroughly, every night and morning,” and said their customers are not "filthy."
Mashilwane says that his joints attracted "high-end" clients, a factor that shows that his eating joint is one of the best.
"How they come to the conclusion that our customers are dirty, I do not know. When our attorney and the landlord’s attorney met, we were told that this (lease) had to end and that (other) tenants had withheld their rent, saying that our customers are dirty."
Is racism really at play in this case?
The attorneys' conclusion was that they’ll "end it all here" and the Mash Braai House would be paid what is owed to them and that the "rest of the legal procedures will unfold as it does."
Because of the long-drawn battle with the landlord, the ultimate repercussion is that 57 employees have lost their jobs just as Christmas has arrived.
And the question still remains, is racism playing a hand here? It seems the Mash Braai House have exhausted every option available. And if they claim to be one of the smartest, speaking of this in strong terms, yet they conceded, what does it mean?
Mash Braai House apologised to their loyal patrons and encouraged them to "visit the Midrand establishment to continue enjoying the Mash experience that they know and love" since the one which has been closed is the Fourway branch.
Buzz Shopping Centre management refused to answer questions from South African media (The Star) and their lawyers did not take any calls?
Header image credit: The South African