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Embattled Spar franchise owner believes he’s victim of smear campaign

Giannakopoulos first started making headlines in October last year when he was accused of beating a female employee at a Food Lover's Market store in Hartebeespoort.

Picture: www.spar.co.za

PRETORIA – Embattled Spar franchise owner Chris Giannakopoulos believes that he is the victim of a smear campaign after the retail giant ordered he may no longer play a role in the management and control of the Spars in the Giannakopoulos group.

The group owns and operates more than two dozen Spars and also has interests in Food Lover's Market and OK Foods.

Giannakopoulos first started making headlines in October last year when he was accused of beating a female employee at a Food Lover's Market store in Hartebeespoort.

He was scheduled to appear in court a week ago, but that the matter was struck from the role.

Giannakopoulos says there has been a campaign of vilification, political activism and numerous false allegations made against him.

Since October, he has been accused of assaulting and abusing staff at a store in Hartbeespoort and also flouting labour regulations.

The Spar guild has now told Giannakopoulos in a letter, which Eyewitness News has seen, that he must cut ties with the company.

Failing to do so, will result in all Spars being removed from the Giannakopoulos group but it appears that this is being challenged.

Spar’s Mandy Hogan declined to answer questions related to the content of the letter, saying the matter is before the courts.

She did, however, say that they do not condone any criminal behaviour on the part of any person associated with the brand.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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