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Transforming Society

Securing Rights

Restoring Dignity

We did not mean to offend

11 May 2020

The South African Human Rights Commission is investigating an incident in which a frozen-food business from Musina circulated an advertisement perceived to be offending the rights and dignity of domestic workers.
The way the last part of the advert is penned depicts domestic workers as individuals who should feed on chicken necks, gizzards, heads, and feet.
The advert from CY Frozen Foods, which was circulated on various social media platforms last week read in full as follows: “We are still open and ready to serve you. In order to make thing (sic) easy and convenient, we will be doing deliveries on orders R300 and above. Payments – strictly cash. For all your braaivleis needs we have Rump, Fillet and T-bone. Chicken products like Drumstick and wings. Mince and Ouma Boerewors. For your domestic worker, we have chicken necks, gizzards, head, and feed (sic), etc. For more information please feel free to contact us.”
After an uproar on social media, the business immediately issued a public apology, which reads: “To the community of Musina. CY Frozen Foods would like to sincerely and unreservedly apologise to the community of Musina for the insult caused by our recent advertisement. We the management of CY Frozen Foods take full responsibility for the regrettable advertisement which does not constitute our values and respect for our customers, whom we have always valued.”
Contacted for comment, Mr Dawie van der Merwe of CY Frozen Foods said he was aware of the advertisement and confirmed that it was from their shop. However, he indicated that they had never intended to offend anyone in the advertisement. “It came to our knowledge that there were people who were not satisfied with the advertisement and we immediately removed it from all our communication platforms. We are very sorry about what happened because we don’t have any intention of hurting our customers. Our customers are the pillar of our business and we need their support to survive.”
He added that after learning of the concerns, CY Frozen Foods had issued a public apology that was circulated on various social media platforms. “We are deeply sorry, and we ask for forgiveness on what happened. We are apologising from deep within our hearts and we have committed to assist needy families with food parcels as part of our social development contributions to the people of Musina.”
The provincial head of the South African Human Rights Commission, Mr Victor Mavhidula, confirmed that they were investigating the matter. “We have already handed over the matter to our investigator, who will be contacting them shortly to get more information. We noted their apology to the public, but we are continuing with our investigations. If we find that there was an intention to offend or harm anyone in the advertisement, we will recommend that appropriate measures be taken against the shop owners.”
Musina Mayor Mihloti Muhlope said she was pleased that the South African Human Rights Commission had taken up the matter for investigation. “Though we are not judging, we are totally against any form of mistreatment for our people. We will wait for the outcome of the investigation and trust that the South African Human Rights Commission will bring this matter to a close.”

Source: Limpopo Mirror

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The Human Rights Commission is the national institution established to support constitutional democracy. It is committed to promote respect for, observance of and protection of human rights for everyone without fear or favour.

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