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WATCH | 'Lockdown has been brutal': vendor arrested for selling atchar mocked by community

South Africans were moved when 53-year-old Thandi Thabethe was arrested for allegedly selling atchar without a permit in Dobsonville, Soweto.

Thabethe said her desperation to put food on the table during the lockdown is why she took the risk.

"There is talk about food vouchers being handed out by the government, but we don't get them," said Thabethe.

After her arrest, she said she received criticism from some people in her community, and some neighbours mocked her for getting arrested.

Her story represents many poor South Africans who have been deeply affected by the  lockdown.

Thabethe's arrest was caught on camera, and the video circulated on social media.

Social media influencer and lawyer Tumi Sole, who was touched by her story, offered to help ensure her release. 

Thabethe received an outpouring of sympathy on social media, and a few South Africans pledged to help her and her unemployed son with food vouchers and basic necessities. 

"I ask that what the public has done for me, they also do for others," said Thabethe. 

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