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WRAP | Clicks stores to close on Wednesday, as EFF denies stores were vandalised by its members

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EFF Treasurer-General Omphile Maotwe at Menlyn Mall during the national shutdown of all Clicks outlets in Pretoria.
EFF Treasurer-General Omphile Maotwe at Menlyn Mall during the national shutdown of all Clicks outlets in Pretoria.
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08 Sep 2020

More than 400 Clicks stores were closed on Tuesday as the EFF protesters continued to stage demonstrations.

The retailer was granted an interdict by the Gauteng High Court on Tuesday morning, barring EFF from intimidating its employees and customers. Clicks said it would reopen its stores on Thursday.

Here are five stories that made headlines on Tuesday

Clicks has removed the TRESemme brand from its shelves and has vowed to expand its range of local products. The retailer has also suspended all employees involved in the advertising campaign and has accepted a senior executive’s resignation.

The EFF has denied that its members vandalised some Clicks stores. In an interview with News24, party chairperson Veronica Mente said “a third force” masquerading as EFF ground forces was behind the vandalism. She went as far as describing the third force as “non-whites who view black people as lazy”.

Meanwhile, dramatic scenes player out at Walmer Park Shopping Centre in Port Elizabeth when a shopper allegedly pulled out a firearm on EFF protesters . The shocking incident was filmed in the foyer of the busy mall.

Clicks said its stores would remain closed on Wednesday to engage with staff and provide counselling. The decision came after the retailer was granted an interdict against the EFF by the Gauteng High Court. According to the interdict, the EFF or its protesters may not intimidate or threaten employees of Clicks.

In other protest news, five people were arrested for malicious damage to property after an alleged attack on the Clicks store in Alberton. News24 reported that protesters smashed the store and set part of it alight on Monday. Police said the suspects, aged 21 to 40 are expected to appear in court soon.

- Compiled by Nokuthula Khanyile

08 Sep 2020

EFF protests: Clicks to close all stores on Wednesday to provide counselling and support to staff

Clicks has taken a decision to close all its stores on Wednesday and then reopen on Thursday, the retailer confirmed in a statement on Tuesday evening. 

The health and beauty retailer said it will use Wednesday to engage directly with store staff across the country and provide counselling and support. 

"The closure means Clicks will be unable to provide medication to customers, along with public sector medicine pick-up points being temporarily unavailable."

MORE HERE

08 Sep 2020

LATEST UPDATE FROM CLICKS

Clicks confirms it plans to reopen all stores on Thursday after the Johannesburg High Court today granted an interdict preventing the EFF from intimidating and threatening employees and customers and inciting violence against commercial operations.   

The company has taken the decision to close all stores on Wednesday 9 September to engage directly with store staff across the country, and provide counselling and support. Clicks will be supported by the ICAS Employee Health and Wellness Programme.   

Clicks had no choice but to approach the courts, as protecting staff and customers remains the number one priority. The closure means Clicks will be unable to provide medication to customers, along with public sector medicine pick-up points being temporarily un-available.    

Clicks recognises the significant impact this event has had on its people and customers and is doing everything to ensure their safety and wellbeing.   

While the cost of the rampant vandalism and looting at many stores is still being determined, Clicks says it is considering the remedies available to it, but no decision has yet been finalised.   

Clicks confirms the company received a letter on Monday from the SAHRC and is in the process of responding to the letter and engaging with the Commission.     

-Ends- 

08 Sep 2020

READ | Clicks hair advert: senior exec resigns, TRESemmé to be removed from shelves, employees suspended

08 Sep 2020

FOR SUBSCRIBERS

OPINION | The politics of hair: Getting to the roots of the Clicks hair ad saga

08 Sep 2020

Court grants Clicks interdict against EFF, but peaceful protest may continue

The Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg has granted retailer Clicks an interdict against the EFF.

According to the interdict, the EFF or its supporters may not intimidate and threaten employees of Clicks working at its shops or any of its operations; intimidate and threaten Clicks' customers visiting its shops, or incite violence against the ordinary commercial operations of Clicks.

The EFF had, since Monday, targeted Clicks stores nationwide in protest over a hair advertisement that described the hair of the two black women in it as "dry and damaged" and "frizzy and dull", while the description for the white women's hair was "fine and flat" and "normal".

Clicks said 425 stores had been affected by protests across the country and that it was too early to assess the nature of the damage caused by vandalism, with some stores petrol bombed or set alight.

READ MORE

08 Sep 2020

ANCYL calls for boycott of TRESemmé hair products after 'racist' Clicks hair ad

The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) has called on the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to investigate the "checks and balances" in the South African advertising industry.

In a statement, the ANCYL Crisis Committee said the commission must assess how a racist hair advert on Clicks' website was approved by the applicable regulatory body.

"Nature abhors a vacuum. In the absence of a credible youth leadership, we will take it upon ourselves to call on the South African Human Rights Commission to investigate the racial violations caused by not only Clicks as the retail store responsible, but also the Unilever Group, to ensure they are held accountable for their unacceptable actions," the so-called "young lions" said.

READ MORE

08 Sep 2020

ALSO READ | Sanef condemns the harassment of eNCA journalists by EFF supporters

08 Sep 2020

FOR SUBSCRIBERS

READ: ANALYSIS | Clicks and the EFF: Common criminality and the cheap politics of spectacle

08 Sep 2020

Clicks delists TRESemmé brand

Clicks is implementing a number of proactive measures to drive diversity and inclusivity, while helping develop and expand the local beauty market, in partnership with the government, the company said in a statement.

Apart from suspending all employees involved in publishing the recent offensive advertisement, Clicks has accepted the resignation of the senior executive responsible.

CEO Vikesh Ramsunder says all suspended employees will go through a fair and unbiased disciplinary hearing, overseen by an independent outside chairperson.      

Ramsunder says Clicks will be delisting and removing all TRESemmé products from shelf with immediate effect and will be replacing the gap with locally sourced haircare brands.


07 Sep 2020

Minister for Small Business Development slams Clicks’ ‘meaningless’ apology, calls for retailer to do more business with local SMMEs

The Minister for Small Business Development, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni rejects the apology by the management of the retail store Clicks as meaningless.

Clicks misses the point that the offense is not only about the images that are insensitive but the fact that it represents the views of TRESemme that are racists and reflects the continued undermining of the beauty of African women and the violence they suffer when they are deemed not meeting certain superficial standards.

Therefore to pull down the advert and issue a public apology cannot cut it. Clicks must remove the TRESemme product from its shelves as an expression of their disassociation with suppliers who promote racist and insensitive marketing.

In addition, if Clicks management is serious about being a proudly South African corporate citizen and want to make amends for its “error”, it must be reflected by steps to place more hair products made by South African SMMEs for African hair on its shelves.

Diversity and inclusivity training for staff is just but a negligible drop in the ocean in the corrective action, and cannot be enough. The Department of Small Business Development remains available to assist Clicks to list more African hair products made by South African SMMEs for its shelves.

The time for South Africa to accept lip service apologies on racism and derogatory acts is over, but apologies must be backed by action to build an non-racial and equal society. 

07 Sep 2020

STATEMENT FROM GOVERNMENT ON THE CLICKS DEBACLE 

Government has noted the public outrage following the Clicks advertisement where black hair is portrayed as “dry and damaged”.

Whilst we are equally disturbed by the crude racist display by the advertisement in question, the acts of lawlessness of vandalizing and burning down Clicks stores that have been reported today are concerning and go against the spirit of peace and respect for human rights that has shaped this country since the dawn of democracy.

Engaging in lawless behavior is not a responsible way to resolve conflict. As this matter is being ventilated, government calls on all South Africans to resist the temptation to take the law into their own hands, remain calm and follow the correct and legal channels to address their concerns. 

Members of the public who witness any form of intimidation or act of violence should contact the nearest police station or call the toll free number: 10 111 to report such incidents.

Minister in the Presidency, Jackson Mthembu said, “We remain committed to the values of democracy. Any form of discrimination or violation of human rights for whatever reason cannot be tolerated as it undermines the progress made in building a united democratic country.”

The fight against discrimination remains the priority of government. It is for this reason that in March 2019 Cabinet approved the National Action Plan to Combat Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, a tool that empowers government to act against such injustices.

“Even in the face of resistance by a small minority, we continue with efforts to build a united South Africa that we can all be proud of. As we launch Heritage Month today, we are reminded of the many cultures, traditions and languages that make us who we are. In the spirit of social cohesion, let us all cherish and respect one another regardless of color, background, gender and religion,”

07 Sep 2020

LATEST UPDATE FROM CLICKS

Protest action by the EFF has been reported at 425 Clicks stores in South Africa. At last count 51 stores have closed in the Western Cape, 92 in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape, and 302 in Gauteng and elsewhere.  

Clicks strongly condemns violence of any kind, intimidation of staff and its customers and the vandalism of its stores. All incidents of criminal behaviour are being reported to the authorities. Clicks is working with SAPS to ensure the safety of staff, customers and members of the public.   

Clicks is unable to estimate the total damage to stores given the ongoing protest action.   

Clicks provides a much-needed healthcare service to South Africans and will continue to trade. Clicks has taken full accountability and apologised unreservedly for the advertisement published on its website and is committed to effecting real change across the business. Clicks continues to monitor the situation.

-ENDS-

07 Sep 2020

Malema vows to shut down Clicks for a week: 'They value money more than humanity'

"We are saying they must close the whole week because they value money more than humanity. They wanted to make money out of [sic] our expense," Malema said.

He said the rationale behind the demand for Clicks stores nationwide to remain close for the whole week was, “to make them to lose money".

"Since you wanted to make money at our expense, we are going to make you lose money because you worship money more than humanity," he said.


MORE HERE

07 Sep 2020

WATCH | 'It’s about the dignity of a black person' - EFF’s Veronica Mente on Clicks protest

The EFF's protest at Clicks is not about hair, but about the dignity of Black people, the party’s chairperson Veronica Mente said on the sidelines of a Clicks shutdown at Cape Town's Goodwood Mall.

"It's not about the hair. It's about the dignity of a black person. It's not respected," she said of the advertisement for TRESemme hair products.

"It's very easy for them to use a black person's dignity, drag it on the floor and use it as something that is not proper," said Mente.

Jenni Evans has the full story

07 Sep 2020

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