Actress launches #AuntyIris campaign

Written by Yazeed Kamaldien

A Cape Town actress who believes Pick ‘n Pay should have offered Iris Beukes more than R500 as compensation for how they humiliated her has started an online collection campaign for the distraught grandmother.

Chantal Stanfield, who now lives in Johannesburg, has already collected R4,000 since the campaign started on Friday. Her target is R10,000.

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Chantal Stanfield

Pick ‘n Pay last month gave a R500 grocery voucher to Iris as an apology for the manner in which she was treated by its staff at a store in Mitchells Plain.

Her grandson Tylan had broken a wrapped chocolate slab in the store and Beukes was threatened with arrest, leading her to tears.

A photo of a crying Beukes on the floor, with her grandson, went viral on social media and Pick ‘n Pay was forced to address the matter. In doing so, the store manager told Weekend Argus the photo was staged.

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Iris Beukes after being threatened with imprisonment at a Pick ‘n Pay store when her grandson, whose face is blurred, broke a chocolate at the store.

Stanfield read that Beukes was a factory worker who was raising her grandchildren alone. She reached out to Beukes, offering to help.

“When I spoke to Aunty Iris, she was just grateful that there were people thinking of them and wanting to help. So that’s really what’s driving it, the humanity,” said Stanfield yesterday.

“That’s also why I haven’t used the widely circulated image of her and her grandson on the floor, for the sake of dignity and humanity.”

Stanfield launched a fundraising campaign on the website Backabuddy. On the campaign page she writes that Beukes and her grandson “deserve more than the R500 shopping voucher and little toy that was given to them as compensation”.

“Imagine your mom and nephew or niece found themselves reduced to tears on a cold, dirty, grocery story floor. All because the inquisitive little five-year-old broke a slab of chocolate still in its wrapper,” writes Stanfield.

“The news of this family’s ill-treatment in this situation made me sick, angry and sad. It made me think of my mom and niece.

“We’ve seen the news stories, we’ve seen the images all over social media, we’ve commented and shared our disgust at this lapse in humanity. So let’s actually do something about it!”

Sandi Ndlovu, who donated R60, wrote a message too: “Aunty Iris what happened to you should NEVER have happened.

“Your, and countless mothers’ sacrifices in the past, and today still, gave us as sons and daughters the platform to be where we are today.”

Happy camper, who donated R205, added: “Enjoy, Aunty Iris. Happy (grand)mother’s day x.”

The campaign will run for a few weeks at the link https://www.backabuddy.co.za/champion/project/for-aunty-iris-beukes

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About Yazeed Kamaldien

Self-employed journalist and photographer from South Africa.

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