At least one store trashed as protests hit H&M stores in SA

Danny Woods
January 14, 2018

Swedish multinational clothing retail company H&M on Saturday temporarily closed several stores in South Africa after protestors ransacked several of its outlets over a controversial advertisement featuring a black child, The New York Times reported.

The worldwide chain store earlier this week apologised after an outcry on Twitter over an advert depicting a black child wearing green hoodie with the inscription "coolest monkey in the jungle".

The protests were staged by members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) who trashed the H&M stores in Menlyn Park Shopping Center, Pretoria, East Rand Mall and Sandton City Shopping Center in Gauteng.

The wave of attacks were organized in advance of the stores' openings on Saturday, and celebrated by Floyd Shivambu, a spokesman for the leftist Economic Freedom Fighters party, stating that the retailer is "facing the consequences for its racism".

Riot police have fired rubber bullets at protesters as they vandalised a string of H&M's stores in South Africa and ordered the Swedish brand to stop trading.

The Deputy President of EFF took to Twitter to praise the group's members for "physically confronting racism".

At least one store trashed as protests hit H&M stores in SA

There were also protests outside a store in Cape Town.

H&M South Africa on Friday had apologised following the controversy.

The company apologized and removed the ad Monday, and the hoodie was pulled from shelves as well.

Several celebrities showed their discontent with the image on the social media platforms.

The affected stores are reportedly closed until further notice.

Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku has also hit out at the advert, modifying the slogan to read "Black Is Beautiful". He added: "We are here to inform them, if you want to undermine the black people in this country, these are the results", noting that his colleagues are willing to sleep at the mall until they get a chance to meet with an H&M representative. "We'll thoroughly investigate why this happened to prevent this type of mistake from happening again".

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