It is the fourth day since the luxury store Luminance’s opening and Khanyi Dhlomo is pacing the coffee shop area, taking calls on her BlackBerry. Her delicate features are tense but she talks to the Mail & Guardian.
“Yes, I was taken aback by the negative reaction to the store. However, one of the reasons I have agreed to talk is because I’m beginning to realise the more information people get, the more they understand,” the 38-year-old mogul says.
And in the controversy swirling around the mini-department store stocked with eye-wateringly expensive products, understanding hasn’t been easy to come by.
After a glamorous function that opened the store in Johannesburg’s Hyde Park last week, rumours exploded: the government’s National Empowerment Fund (NEF) gave the wealthy businessperson R34.1-million of taxpayer’s money; the head of the fund, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa’s wife, Philisiwe, was a co-owner; Dhlomo and her business partners used their political connections to score the windfall.
Even the details of the products were magnified: the store only stocked items that ran into thousands of rands and customers were not allowed to touch the pricey designer items. Staff wore white gloves when handling products.
Read more at the M&G.
Image – Gallo