The Democratic Alliance (DA) has described the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) supporters’ move to throw items off Clicks Pharmacy store shelves and shatter glass entrance doors, as unacceptable.
The party says it will lay charges against EFF Leader Julius Malema for incitement of violence and destruction of property following Monday’s protests at Clicks stores.
Malema had taken to social media calling on EFF members to shut down all Clicks stores countrywide over an online Clicks hair ad.
The online advert which depicted black women’s hair as dry and damaged caused public outrage.
Clicks has since removed the image and issued an apology.
CIC @Julius_S_Malema says if any store of clicks is open, inform the EFF and we will close it.
— Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica) September 7, 2020
The DA’s Shadow Minister of Police Andrew Whitfield says they have submitted evidence of the EFF’s actions to the police.
Whitfield says, “The evidence is a number of video footage and photographic evidence we have been able to capture off social media. We have submitted comprehensive evidence to SAPS of the malicious damage to property, which is just one of the charges.”
“A separate charge is the incitement charge, when Malema called on the EFF to attack the Clicks stores. I think that the reaction by the EFF demonstrates a pattern of their vigilante violent behaviour of the past and it is unacceptable,” added Whitfield.
EFF says leaders did not call on supporters to vandalise Clicks stores:
Clicks released a statement late on Sunday night, saying it will be business as usual at all its stores in the country. That has angered the EFF further, saying the statement shows the extent of how arrogant clicks South Africa is when it comes to racial injustices in the country.
In Menlyn, Pretoria, a group of EFF members accompanying by the party’s Treasurer-General Omphile Maotwe forced a Clicks store to shut its doors. Employees who came in early quickly closed the store and left as a handful of EFF members sung and danced in front of Clicks Menlyn.
Maotwe says they want Clicks stores to fall. “We are here because they refused to close. We’re coming here to assist them to close and we want them to close for the rest of the week, everywhere in the country, in all their 880 outlets in the country. So we are here. I am deployed here in Menlyn because I am here from Tshwane and therefore we are just making sure that Clicks is closed. We are going to be here for the rest of the day and for the rest of the week. So we are coming back tomorrow, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday because we want Clicks to fall. Clicks must fall because Clicks undermines black people.”
#sabcnews A Clicks store at the Cycad shopping centre in Polokwane, in Limpopo has been petrol bombed amid EFF protest against Clicks stores. Earlier, EFF leader Julius Malema locked a Clicks store with a chain and padlock at the Thornhill shopping centre.#clicksmustfall pic.twitter.com/5ALBQQKRFc
— Jabulani Baloi (@jabulanibaloi) September 7, 2020
EFF to continue protests
The EFF confirmed that its members will continue to protest and close Clicks stores around the country on Tuesday.
EFF Spokesperson Delisile Ngwenya defended their protest action saying the party’s leadership has called for peaceful demonstrations.
Ngwenya says, “It is very possible for anyone to go in as one of us and sabotage our programme, which we had planned to be violent-free and very peaceful. We are looking into it, it is not condoned or supported. We told everyone that there is no need to be violent, we are going to do this in a very peaceful manner which we have been doing. We will continue to let our members know that we will do this in a peaceful manner, we will go in there and make sure the store is shut – as we will do today as well – and continue to do until the protest is done.”