H&M temporarily closes all stores in South Africa amid protests

Jan 15, 2018 | International, News

People protest in front of H&M store in Cape Town, South Africa, January 13, 2018 in this picture obtained from social media by REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT.

By: Sara Florez

Clothing company H&M has temporarily closed all of its stores in South Africa this weekend after protestors damaged several of them.

The protests were in response to the controversial ad released last week of a black boy modeling a hoodie with the slogan, “Coolest monkey in the world”.

H&M apologized for the image last Monday, and then again on Tuesday. The Swedish company had removed the image and stopped selling the sweatshirt.

After being aware of the protests, H&M immediately issued a statement on Twitter.

On Saturday, the radical group Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) destroyed several H&M locations across the country. EFF is a South African revolutionary political party created in 2013, by former African National Congress Youth League President, Julius Malema.

A spokesman from EFF, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi tweeted that H&M’s apologies were a little too late.

“The time of apologies for racism are over; there must be consequences to anti-black racism, period!” Ndlozi wrote on his Twitter account.

Many of those protestors took to different social media outlets, specifically Twitter to post videos of them damaging merchandise and toppling mannequins.

Police officers responded to the different protests and allegedly fired rubber bullets at the protesters who were vandalizing the stores.

Despite protestors trying to prove a point to H&M by damaging stores, some from the black community were against the protests made by EFF.

Julius Malema, leader of EFF said in a speech on Saturday, “We make no apology about what the fighters did today against that store called H&M.” Malema added that targeting the stores is “just the beginning.”