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Protests held at South African H&M stores following “racist advert” controversy


Image via Floyd Shiyambu

H&M has been forced to close several of its South African stores following a series of protests in both Johannesburg and Cape Town by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). The protests follow outrage on social media after the Swedish clothing company posted an image of a young black boy in a green hoodie reading “coolest monkey in the jungle” on its website last week.

Video footage posted online showed activists in several locations trashing displays, kicking over mannequins and pulling down clothes rails. In response to the incidents, South African police posted a tweet reading, “At the East Rand mall the protestors managed to enter the shop and stole several items. SAPS members had to intervene and dispersed the group of protestors by firing rubber bullets.”

A member of the EFF, Floyd Shiyambu also took to Twitter writing, “That @hm nonsense of a clothing store is now facing consequences for its racism. All rational people should agree that the store should not be allowed to continue operating in South Africa.”

Having already pulled the image of the young boy from its campaigns, H&M also posted an apology on its local website: “Our position is simple, we have got this wrong and we are deeply sorry.”