Police report several protests at H&M stores in Gauteng

Erica Roy
January 14, 2018

The image advertising the £7.99 jumper was removed from H&M's USA and United Kingdom websites shortly after the outrage broke and the retailer quickly issued a statement apologising to "anyone it may have offended".

H&M's use of a black child model for a hoodie with the phrase "coolest monkey in the jungle" attracted widespread criticism.

Speaking outside the H&M in Menlyn Mall, Tshwane chairperson or the EFF, Benjamin Disoloane, said the protest was against H&M, which was a "racist shop" based on their actions as reported on in the media.

In one video, claimed to have been taken at the Menlyn Park store, one of red shirted activists is seen trashing displays, kicking over and pulling down clothes rails as well as pushing over mannequins.

Shivambu said H&M "nonsense of a clothing store is now facing consequences for its racism".

Recent anger over an advert by the retail giant H&M has spilled out into violence, with several store branches in South Africa being trashed by protesters.

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"At the East Rand Mall the protesters managed to enter the shop and stole several items. #SAPS members had to intervene and dispersed the group of protesters by firing rubber bullets".

EFF leader Julius Malema defended the rampage, saying: "We make no apology about what the fighters did today".

"We're not going to leave".

Responding to a customer inquiry H&M South Africa said the offending product "was not available in South Africa". People have called the image racist and inappropriate.

Members of a left-wing, youth-oriented political movement stormed H&M stores around the country on January 13.

But many have already pledged to boycott the store, as The Weekend - a Canadian R'n'B star who produced menswear collections with the chain - said he was cutting ties with the company. "I'm deeply offended and will not be working with H&M anymore".

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