A cultural activist who was barred from a South African mall because he was wearing traditional Ndebele clothing has forgiven the manager who had turned him away.

“If he apologised last week, I would not have forgiven him because he humiliated me. But after speaking and consulting with my mother and other traditional activists I have decided to forgive him,” Thando Mahlangu said.

He gave testimony before a commission on Wednesday, saying he was not happy that the manager Jose Maponyane had been suspended from his job at Boulders Shopping Centre in Johannesburg for what he did.

Mr Mahlangu instead told the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Rights of Cultural Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Commission) that he would prefer the manager to be reinstated and receive training on traditions that the centre had set up.

He also said he would be happy to meet him and understand his perspective.

A viral video of the incident showed the manager saying the traditional attire was “not decent”.

“We’ve got the right of admission. I don’t condone this in my mall,” he was heard saying.