The South African government says it is disturbed by the crude racist display of the Clicks hair advertisement, but also says acts of lawlessness in the vandalising and torching of Clicks stores are concerning and go against the country’s spirit of peace and respect for human rights.
The online ad portrayed black people’s hair negatively compared to the hair of white people. Most Clicks stores are expected to open again on Tuesday despite threats from the Economic Freedom Fighters.
Government has called on all South Africans to resist the temptation to take the law into their own hands.
The government information and communication system, GCIS, says people who witness any form of intimidation or act of violence should contact the nearest police station or call the 10 111 toll-free number.
GCIS statement below:
Clicks store at the Lemon Tree shopping centre in Alberton set on fire, shops at mall closed:
Firefighters managed to put out a fire at the Clicks store at the Lemon Tree shopping centre in Alberton, east of Johannesburg. It’s believed a group of people broke into the shop, vandalised it, and set it on fire.
However, firefighters responded quickly and managed to extinguish the fire and contain the damage. No one was injured. All the shops at the mall have been closed for the day.
This amid nationwide protests by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) against Clicks stores.
A Clicks store at the Cycad Shopping Centre in Polokwane, in Limpopo, was petrol bombed.
#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
Malema locks Clicks store
EFF leader Julius Malema locked a Clicks store with a chain and padlock at the Thornhill shopping centre in Polokwane.
Malema says he regards the action to continue operating by Clicks as racist.
EFF says that they did not instruct followers to vandalise stores:
“It’s a white man’s arrogance, white man thinking that he cannot be told by a black man what to do that’s why you see them insisting on opening stores. But we’ll close them, we’ll teach a white man [a] lesson today. Once they say it’s open I’ll come … the fighters are everywhere there are workers here. Once this thing [store] opens we [will] come we [will] close it.”
Protest against Clicks in Pretoria:
A group of EFF accompanying the party’s Treasurer-General Omphile Maotwe forced Clicks store in Menlyn, Pretoria to shut its doors.
Employees who came in early quickly closed the store and left as a handful 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 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,” adds Maotwe.
In Cape Town:
An eNCA news crew were forced to leave the Goodwood Mall in Cape Town by EFF supporters who protested outside a Clicks store.
EFF national chairperson Veronica Mente refused to be interviewed by members of the media in the presence of eNCA.
She said the media house had taken a decision not to cover EFF events.
Police had to intervene to stop the altercation between a cameraperson and EFF supporters.
Clicks protest in Cape Town:
Following the public outcry over the advertisement, Clicks CEO Vikash Ramsunder shared an open letter today: