PnP says it had "strong reasons" to have nursing mom arrested over unpaid items in pram

PnP says it had "strong reasons" to have nursing mom arrested over unpaid items in pram

Cape Town - Outrage has followed the arrest of a nursing mother who allegedly had two unpaid coffees in the baggage area of her infant's pram.

The woman's sister, Amanda Olckers, took to Facebook yesterday with the details saying the items were discovered and her sister had returned to a checkout counter to pay for it. 

It was unclear if she had exited the store --  a Pick n Pay in Longbeach -- with the coffee or if she had noticed the unpaid items while still inside the premises.

A statement from Pick n Pay yesterday afternoon read: "We can assure our customers that Pick n Pay would never escalate an issue unless we believed that, having examined and considered the facts, we had strong reasons to do so."

The retailer said while they understood the "pressures facing mothers in our shops" the claims made on Facebook were inaccurate. 

It's understood the new mother, whom Newsful has identified but will not name to protect the rights of the children in the story, was reportedly taken to the Longbeach Police Station with the infant and her eight-year-old daughter.

Meanwhile, several members of the public have come to the woman's defense, calling Pick n Pay's actions heavy-handed.

Ms. Olckers confirmed that a protest was being planned for the woman's court appearance, set for tomorrow (Friday).

"... we will all go to court (those who can) and show support on Friday morning at 8am. On Saturday at 9am we will meet at the Sun Valley robots on the big grass patch to show PnP we will not be bullied! We are moms and we stand together!! Thank you all so much for your support so far. Please remember this will be a peaceful protest."

Several others who responded to the social media posts about the arrest, said similar incidents happened to them at other retailers and their experience was not as drastic as the steps taken by Pick n Pay Longbeach. They said managers generally accepted an apology and payment and were empathetic to the distraction of young children on shopping trips.

Editor's note: The image used above is for illustrative purposes only and is not intended to identify the subject of this story. Credit: Saldanha Bay Municipality/Facebook

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