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'It's not blackface, it was bad make-up' - Dis-Chem store manager

The shop displayed a white mannequin with an ochre-toned product on its face, which resembled blackface.

This Dis-Chem mannequin with blackface caused an uproar on social media. Picture: T_Lethu/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - The Dis-Chem branch at Killarney Mall has received harsh criticism for its African Beauty Fair display.

The shop displayed a white mannequin with an ochre-toned product on its face, which resembled blackface.

Dressed in African-print clothing and traditional sandals, the mannequin was accompanied by a hut, a reed mat and some calabashes.

Dis-Chem apologised for the display, saying it was an isolated incident.

702's Eusebius McKaiser speaks to Dis-Chem Killarney Mall store manager Tarryl Moonsamy to find out what was the thinking behind the display.

"The mannequin was done distastefully and it was a bad make-up job done by one of the staff members in the store. The minute I saw it, I removed it," Moonsamy said.

"The theme was African Beauty Fair and that is what we went along with. One of the staff members took their own initiative to start creating a display and once the display was done I removed it because it looked wrong.

"The staff member who did it wanted to embrace her own culture and she wanted to bring about something about herself into the display, which definitely went wrong. It was a mistake on the make-up job done from our side.

"We don't have mannequins, the staff member brought in her own mannequin and she did the display on it. We did not intend to make a mockery of anyone. This is not blackface, it was bad make-up," Moonsamy added.

Listen to the audio below for more.