Woolworths: Pig’s head incident appalling

Cape Town - Retailer Woolworths said it was appalled by the actions of Congress of SA Students members who placed a pig’s head in the kosher section of the store’s Sea Point, Cape Town, branch.

A photo of a man putting the head down amongst other meat went viral on Friday, causing people on social media to react in anger.

“Placing a pig’s head in our store is unacceptable and offensive to our employees and customers, including Jewish and Muslim employees and customers,” Paula Disberry, Woolworths group director of retail operations said in a statement.

“We are investigating this incident and we will consider our options to prevent such distasteful protests in our stores.

“We will destroy any halaal products that may be affected and take any other appropriate measures. There were no kosher food products on the affected shelf.

Disberry said the incident was isolated to its Fort Road store in Sea Point.

In a statement released by Cosas, the body said it supported the call by Boycott Divest and Sanctioning Israel (BDSI) to not buy from Woolworths.

BDSI distances selves from Cosas actions

“We are not being bombastic when we say will bring the supporters of Israel pigs - we are being revolutionary,” Cosas in the Western Cape said.

However, BDSI distanced itself from Cosas’s actions.

“We believe that the methods used, namely placing pigs heads in South African Woolworths stores, are very controversial and may not have been properly thought through.

“It may be argued that the placing of pig heads is a form of militant human rights action however there is a great amount of sensitivity surrounding Halaal and Kosher food.

“The pig heads have now effectively made various Woolworths Stores a complete no-go zone for those that buy Kosher or Halaal as those areas are now contaminated,” said in a statement.

The SA Jewish Board of Deputies was also disgusted by Cosas’s actions.

“Disregarding all standards of basic decency, (Cosas) [on Friday] chose to send an ugly message to the Jewish community of South Africa,” the board’s Wendy Kahn said.

The retailer has previously said that less than 0.1% of its products are sourced in Israel.

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