• A picture of mugs labelled "The Maid" and "The Gardener", which were sold at a Pick n Pay store in Cape Town, sparked an outcry on social media.
  • A domestic worker union has demanded an apology from the retail chain.
  • The mugs have since been removed.

Pick and Pay came under fire on Tuesday after one of its stores sold mugs deemed offensive.

The mugs sold at the store in Observatory were labelled "The Maid" and "The Gardener", and sparked an outcry after a Twitter user tweeted the photo. 

Myrtle Witbooi, general secretary of the South African Domestic Services and Allied Workers Union, told Business Insider South Africa that the mugs were "very degrading".

"This takes us back to apartheid when utensils for gardeners and domestic workers were placed outside for (the workers). This takes us back as a people and we demand a public apology from the store."

Janine Caradonna, Pick and Pay spokesperson, told Business Insider that the mugs were only sold at one of its franchise stores. 

"We have asked him [franchise owner] to remove them from sale immediately - which he has done," says Caradonna.

However, not everyone on social media thought the mugs were offensive. 

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