There have been calls to boycott Woolworths as it continued to trade with Israel following the war in Gaza.
Mary Kluk, chairperson of the SA Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD), said the Congress of SA Students (Cosas) did not deny that it had done this. “A press statement issued by Cosas Western Cape chairperson Siphakamise Ngxowa, inter alia declared that Cosas ‘will not allow people who will not eat pork to pretend that they are eating clean meat, when it is sold by hands dripping with the blood of Palestinian children’,” said Kluk.
The SAJBD was appalled by the incident and said it was a “hate-filled demonstration”.
Kluk said pork was strictly forbidden by the Jewish dietary laws therefore this action was an offensive one, aimed at intimidating the Jewish community. “In the past, however, such acts were carried out anonymously. By contrast, Cosas has not only done so in full public view, but has gone about widely publicising this gross act of bigotry,” she said.
The SAJBD was investigating its options on how it could take the matter further.
Woolworths said it would also carry out an investigation. “Woolworths is appalled by this incident. Placing a pig’s head in our store is unacceptable and offensive to our employees and customers, including Jewish and Muslim employees and customers,” group director of retail operations Paula Disberry said.
“We will destroy any halaal products that may be affected and take any other appropriate measures,” she said, adding that there were no kosher food products on the affected shelf. She said the incident was isolated to their Fort Road store in Sea Point.
Cosas officials could not immediately comment on the matter. The Western Cape ANC distanced itself from the protest. “The ANC… distances itself from an un-ANC protest action this morning in the Sea Point Woolworths,” it said in a statement.
The ANC neither initiated nor condone this action. “The ANC also does not know who uses a Twitter account distributing the offensive images called “ANC Branch”. This is not an ANC social media account.” – Sapa