WATCH | Shopping mall Santa, 73, won't let the pandemic stop the jingle bells

Mervyn Laaks has been a mall Santa at Cavendish Square for three years. Things have changed as a result of the pandemic but he still wants to bring Christmas cheer.

25 December 2021 - 09:13 By Maryam Adams

Mervyn Laaks is a 73-year-old grandfather who also dabbles in jingle bells. He has been working as a mall Santa Claus for three years, and is joined by a handy pandemic helper, Carlista Cloete. The two entertain children visiting Cavendish Square in Cape Town.

It's a difficult job, but somebody has to do it. Grandfather Mervyn Laaks, 73, enjoys seeing Cape Town children walking away with smiles on their faces after "meeting" Santa Claus.

Laaks has been a mall Santa for the past three years and has become accustomed to doing it while observing Covid-19 protocols.

Santa's helper, Carlista Cloete, comes equipped with some pandemic essentials - a thermometer and sanitiser. 


Mervyn Laaks has spent three years as a mall Santa and says he'll continue doing the job as long as it makes children smile
Cavendish mall santa Mervyn Laaks has spent three years as a mall Santa and says he'll continue doing the job as long as it makes children smile
Image: Marayam Adams

“Keeping the innocence of believing there is a Santa really helps [children] to enjoy Christmas,” says Cloete. 

Laaks says he is impressed to see young children adjusting to the new rules and observed their commitment to wearing their masks.

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