A reality TV star has been outraged by a homophobic shopkeeper who has allegedly refused to serve him because he was gay.
In an incident filmed and posted on twitter, South Africa reality show contestant and influencer Innocent Matijane was shown arguing with the shop owner following the refusal.
“This guy wouldn’t sell for me at the shop because I’m gay. What mess is this?” he wrote alongside the clip.
Despite Matijane telling the shop owner that he is being homophobic and being filmed, the man shrugs his shoulder and tell him that it’s a question of “culture.” Matijane angrily asks him, “What does buying things have to do with my sexuality?”
He said later on Twitter, “Yho, I’m mortified. I’m shook,” adding that “Experiencing homophobia is so painful.”
Matijane also revealed that he had spoken to a police officer who told him he was annoying and that the shop owner was entitled to refuse to serve him.
Matijane further posted a screengrab confirming that he had lodged an online complaint about the incident with the SA Human Rights Commission about the incident.
This guy wouldn’t sell for me at the shop because I’m gay. What mess is this? pic.twitter.com/fmxB2Rptj3
— Inno Matijane (@innomatijane) June 7, 2020
Matijane is never far from controversy as his latest “Reality Love Show” on local TV network Moja Love called “The Way Ngingakhona” follows the simple lives of three friends who wish to educate people about the daily struggles when it comes to people who are proud members of the LGBTQI community.
Following the posting of the incident, some of Matijane’s followers have told him that he was overreacting and being dramatic. Some also used the video as an excuse to justify xenophobia against the shop owner.
The online abuse shocked Matijane: “Ever since my tweet yesterday about how I was denied customer service because of my sexuality, I’ve seen a number of people who have validated for me that nothing has changed. People really pull a front about accepting the LGBTQ+ community. I’m appalled, hurt & disappointed.”
Under the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act in South Africa, it is illegal to deny services to people based on their sexual orientation.
Legal and constitutional experts further argue that turning away members of groups protected by the Bill of Rights when providing a public service is unconstitutional.
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