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Human Rights Commission wants Family Supermarket to financially compensate harassed disabled woman.

Saturday, 12th June, 2021

MATSAPHA:The Human Rights Commission has recommended that Family Cash and Carry Supermarket should financially compensate Khethukuthula Mathabela, the disabled wheel-chaired woman who was harassed within the store merely for her disability condition.

This comes after this Swaziland News reported that on or around 12th February 2021, Khethukuthula Mathabela (21) was kicked out of the Supermarket because of her disability condition. 

The matter attracted the attention of the Federation of Organisations of the Disabled in Eswatini (FODSWA), subsequently, the the Human Rights Commission conducted an investigation on the matter and compiled a report.

The Commission found that the incident constituted a violation of the complainant’s right to equality, non-discrimination, dignity and the protection from gender and disability-based discrimination.

“The Commission makes the following specific recommendations: That the Respondent engages the Complainant for an agreeable form of material or financial compensation as a sign of apology. That the Respondent undertakes a human rights training for its management and staff to be administered by the Commission and FODSWA”, reads the report in part.

The report further recommended that the Supermarket should reform its policies and procedures to incorporate a disability rights-based approach which would ensure the visibility and representation of disability in its operations. The Supermarket was also asked to make a formal statement to the press on the findings of the Commission  and their commitment towards ensuring that similar incidents were  avoided in future.

When reached for comments, Lethukuthula Mathabela, the affected disabled woman welcomed the Commission’s findings and revealed that negotiations for a settlement were currently ongoing.

“We are still negotiating the compensation with the supermarket’s lawyers, I’m told we would have to sign an agreement once the negotiations are finalised. They are showing remorse and they have promised to treat disabled people with the respect they deserved going forward. I’m quite relieved that this matter has finally reached this stage”, she said.

Sipho Dlamini, the President of the Federation of Organisations of  the Disabled in Eswatini (FODSWA) also welcomed the findings of the report adding that the business community should consider the employment of disabled people as they were also equally capable as their able bodied counterparts.

“We support the respect for human rights especially disabled women who are more vulnerable to abuse, the society needs to be empowered with knowledge on issues involving disability. We are also advocating for the business community to consider the employment of people living with disabilities since they are equally capable, they just need to be given a chance to prove themselves”, said the FODSWA President.

Human Rights Commission wants Family Supermarket to financially compensate harassed disabled woman.
Khethukuthula Mathabela (21), a disabled wheel-chaired woman of Matsapha