Thursday, 18 January, 2018

South Africa party storms H&M stores over monkey shirt ad

Pic @FloydShivambu Image H&M stores in South Africa have been ransacked by activists. Pic @FloydShivambu
Wallace Pearson | 14 January, 2018, 00:29

Angry protesters in South Africa targeted H&M stores on Saturday over a "racist" advertisement on the clothing company's website.

The controversy began when the chain issued an image of a black child modelling a sweatshirt with the slogan "Coolest monkey in the jungle". "Police had to intervene and dispersed the group of protesters by firing rubber bullets", Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said.

Swedish fashion group H&M apologised for the advert earlier this week following criticism from across the world, including Manchester United star Romelu Lukaku and basketball player LeBron James.

A vandalised H&M store is seen in Sandton, South Africa, January 13, 2018 in this picture obtained from social media.

EFF supporters destroyed the window of the store, vandalised property and stole from it.

However, according to spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, the EFF wasn't prepared to make amends.

The advert for a children's hoodie
Image The H&M advert for a children's hoodie

EFF Deputy President Floyd Shivambu congratulated members via twitter for physically confronting racism.

H&M has not yet responded to a media query over the demonstrations in South Africa.

National Basketball Association star LeBron James, rapper Diddy and singer The Weeknd are among the celebrities who expressed shock in recent days over the H&M image, which has been removed. "No arrests have been effected up to so far", Dlamini said.

"Our position is simple, we have got this wrong and we are deeply sorry", H&M added in a post on its Facebook page.

They ended their protest around 2pm, leader of the protest, Hendswell Baloyi, saying that "as long as H&M opens their doors, we will be here".

A police officer who declined to be identified in the press said members of the SAPS crowd control public order police unit had been summoned to the Kolonnade Mall, but there was no sign of the EFF members.

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