Mother challenges store over wheelchair access
A Cape Town mother who was told she can no longer bring her wheelchair-bound child into a local superette, is challenging the move in the Equality Court.
Liezel Haskin, represented by law firm Webber Wentzel, has been visiting the store for 10 years, with her son, but was told in April that wheelchairs were no longer allowed, reports GroundUp.
Haskin said despite explaining to the staff that she was a single mother and could not leave Connor without proper care, she was instructed to either 'leave Connor in his buggy at the door or carry him while shopping in the store'.
Attorney Odette Geldenhuys, who has taken Haskin's case pro bono, has sent a letter of demand to Save More Superette owner Salaudin Khan, asking him to apologise in writing to Haskin, restructure the store to allow wheelchair access, pay R5 000 to Red Cross Children's Hospital: Down Syndrome Support group, and R5 000 towards Connor's next wheelchair.
'Our clients were hurt by the discriminatory conduct as it offended and insulted them. The discrimination violated the Equality Act, in particular section 9, which prohibits unfair discrimination on the grounds of disability,' read the letter.
Haskin said a few days after the incident, Khan made an unannounced visit to her home, apologised and left a slab of chocolate for Connor before taking a photo with him.
'He said that people with prams and wheelchairs steal goods.'
'A few days later, I walked passed the store and saw that they renovated it, purposefully placing isles so that wheelchairs and prams can't go inside,' she said.
Khan said he was under the impression that the issue with Haskin had been resolved.
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