UPDATE: All South African H&M stores closed – for now

All South African branches of the international H&M clothing company have been temporarily closed for business out of concern for the safety of employees.

This follows protests by the EFF at various stores countrywide against what they see as an allegedly ‘racist’ advertisement placed by the company overseas.

ALSO READ: BREAKING NEWS: VIDEOS: Shoppers told to avoid Menlyn Park mall after EFF vandalizes shop

One store in Menlyn Park shopping centre had its windows smashed and was extensively damaged, prompting police to cordon off the entire floor on which the store is located.

In a statement released by H&M following the protest, they acknowledged the incident and said they are closing the stores temporarily out of concern for the safety of their employees and customers.

ALSO READ: UPDATE: EFF Menlyn protest marked by vandalism, looting

“We strongly believe that racism and bias in any shape or form, deliberate or accidental, are simply unacceptable.”

“We stress that our store staff had nothing to do with our poor judgement of producing the children’s hoodie and the image.”

The company came under fire on social media across the globe for an advertisement showing a black child in a hoodie that read “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle”.

ALSO READ: BREAKING NEWS: Woman commits suicide at Menlyn shopping centre

The Menlyn incident was one of a few such incidents reported across the province, said SAPS provincial spokesperson Colonel Lungelo Dlamini.

“At the East Rand Mall the protesters managed to enter the shop and stole several items,” he said. 

“Police had to intervene and dispersed the group of protesters by firing rubber bullets.”


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Liam Ngobeni

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