WATCH | 'We are just here to peacefully close down Clicks' - EFF's Omphile Maotwe

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Guards outside a Clicks store in Menlyn Mall, Pretoria.
Guards outside a Clicks store in Menlyn Mall, Pretoria.
News24/Alex Mitchley
  • EFF members have congregated at Menlyn Mall, Pretoria, to close down Clicks.
  • The action comes after an advertisement that was offensive to black women's hair went viral. 
  • Party members have taken similar action at Clicks stores across the country.

EFF members who congregated outside of the Clicks in Menlyn Mall, Pretoria, to make sure the store is closed, have been allowed to continue with their protest action as police and private security continue to monitor the situation. 

ROLLING COVERAGE | EFF members storm Clicks stores across the country

A small group of EFF members, led by the party's Treasurer General Omphile Maotwe have maintained that they will ensure all Clicks stores are closed in Tshwane for the rest of the week. 

This follows on a call to action by EFF leader Julius Malema after an advert went viral on Friday depicting images of white women's hair, which was labelled as fine, normal and flat, while pictures of black women's hair were called dry and damaged.

Maotwe did not believe members were breaking any laws by protesting outside of the Clicks store and that police had agreed with them and did not ask them to leave the mall. 

"They are not going to ask us to leave, we are demonstrating, demonstration is allowed. The police must just make sure there is no breaking of the law. We are not here to break any glass or do anything, we are just here to peacefully close down Clicks and we are doing that," Maotwe said. 

Maotwe said the issue was that black people are the majority in South Africa and that adverts like the one published should not still surface.

"We will not allow anything that seeks to undermine the dignity of black people."

"We come from a painful past of apartheid where whiteness was perceived to be the only thing, so all of us must look to whiteness. So when Clicks comes in 2020 and says the hair of a black person is damaged and dull when it's black, it is an insult to us and reminds us of the painful past.

Apologised

Shortly after the advert went viral at the weekend, Clicks apologised.

On Monday the health and beauty retailer said it had suspended two people, and indicated via a lawyer's letter published on the EFF's Twitter account that it would not reveal the names of the people behind the TRESemme advertisement due to data privacy.

READ MORE | Hair advert: Clicks CEO apologises and suspends employees, but EFF shutdown to continue

Clicks Group CEO Vikesh Ramsunder apologised in an open letter and said that the emotive responses had been mirrored by employees and management teams. An extraordinary board meeting was held this weekend and it was decided that its own and third party promotional content would be audited and there would be urgent diversity training.

"As a company we cannot change what happened, but we are learning from this," he wrote.

Its urgent application for a court interdict to stop the EFF from disrupting its business and intimidating staff and customers was dismissed with costs.

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