Chihuahua bites: municipality ‘arrests’ popular mannequin for loitering on pavement

2011-03-08 00:00

A MANNEQUIN at a downtown furniture shop that has become a popular local feature is back after being “arrested” by the Msunduzi Municipality recently.

Furniture Man owner Gonnie Pillay said that after “a most distressing arrest”, during which she was denied bail, “Thoko Pillay” is back at her post welcoming customers at the shop in lower Church Street.

Thoko declined to comment on her arrest on February 21, which was carried out under the bylaw enforcing Operation Chihuahua.

Pillay said he and his customers are thrilled to have her back.

He had to rescue her from the municipality’s Washington Road compound by forking out R94,05.

Thoko, who normally greets the customers with a sign reading “I’m a good girl, make the circle bigger”, now carries one explaining her untimely absence to curious customers.

The board reads, “I was arrested by the municipalty on 21/2/2011, released on 4/3/2011, fine R94,05. I missed you all”.

The mannequin was seized during a swoop to remove illegal traders from pavements.

Pillay said it had been placed on the pavement when the swoop took place.

“Many of my customers do not know the name of my shop and they refer to it as Thoko’s shop. Customers kept inquiring about her whereabouts and even when I went to bail her at Washington Road the [municipal officials] asked if I was there to pick up Thoko,” said Pillay.

Pillay said Thoko will remain inside the store from now on.

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