Gauteng police on high alert after EFF supporters trash several H&M stores
Gauteng police remain on high alert after EFF supporters stormed into several H& M stores around the province on Saturday.
Shops in Sandton‚ Menlyn Park and on the East Rand were forced to close after party supporters trashed the stores in an apparent protest against an online ad that has been labelled racist.
Earlier this week‚ the Swedish clothing company withdrew sales of a green hoodie with the inscription “coolest monkey in the jungle” after complaints that the ad featuring a black child had triggered accusations of racism.
The company apologised on its Twitter account and in a statement posted on their website admitted they got it wrong and were deeply sorry.
Police spokesman Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said police had to intervene and disperse a crowd using rubber bullets when protesters entered an H& M shop in East Rand Mall and stole several items.
In Menlyn‚ protesters threw clothing around but nothing had been reported stolen.
“The shops in all other areas are reported to have been closed and police are monitoring the situation. No arrests have been effected so far‚” said Dlamini.
EFF national spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi could not be reached on his cell phone‚ but tweeted that the party would visit every racist institution to ensure there were consequences for any denigration of the black race.
“H& M is not the last one ... The time of apologies for racism is over; there must be consequences to anti-black racism‚ period‚” said Ndlozi on Twitter.
This is not the first time the retail giant has come under fire in South Africa. It had to deal with a public relations disaster at the opening of its first SA store‚ at the Cape Town Waterfront‚ in 2015‚ after members of the public queried why there were no pictures of black models in its window.
The company responded that its marketing plan was one which intended to convey a positive image — implying black models were not in line with this image‚ which caused a storm of protest.