Mall of Africa tenants close up shop as protesters descend on H&M store

2018-01-15 18:04
A picture taken on 13 January 2018 in Sandton City shopping mall in Johannnesburg shows the H&M clothing store closed after members the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) opposition party stormed the store in protest of a alleged racist slogan printed on a hoodie that caused uproar on social media. (AFP)

A picture taken on 13 January 2018 in Sandton City shopping mall in Johannnesburg shows the H&M clothing store closed after members the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) opposition party stormed the store in protest of a alleged racist slogan printed on a hoodie that caused uproar on social media. (AFP)

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Midrand - Some tenants at the Mall of Africa have closed their doors after a group of about 30 EFF protesters descended on the H&M store on Monday.

Mall of Africa general manager Johann Fourie said the H&M store would be closed until further notice.

He confirmed the protest was being monitored and had been secured by mall security, Fidelity Security Services, and the police to ensure customer, staff and tenant safety.

The protesters later left the mall peacefully without causing any harm to customers or damage to the property, Fourie said.

The retailer caused outrage after it showed a black child in a sweatshirt with the words "Coolest monkey in the jungle" printed on it.

H&M has since apologised and removed the image as well as the sweater from retail, saying it was "investigating internally to ensure this can’t ever happen again".

Police spokesperson Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said mall operations were otherwise mostly continuing as normal.

"No violence has taken place so far. There has been no criminal activity," he told News24.

A Mall of Africa store employee, who was standing near the protesters, said it was decided to close their doors as staff were "scared".

"They are just singing but you never know [when the situation can change]," she said.

Most shoppers were avoiding the area, she added.

On Saturday, EFF supporters trashed stores in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town in response to the online ad.


Read more on:    h&m  |  johannesburg  |  protests  |  racism

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