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NC EFF protests outside Clicks

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The party has indicated it would continue its action until they received a satisfactory resolution.

Heavy police presence at the Diamond Pavillion Mall Clicks. Pictures: Soraya Crowie

THE ECONOMIC Freedom Fighters (EFF) in the Northern Cape indicated that the protests at several Clicks outlets in the Province and across the country will continue, depending on the reaction and feedback from the outlets.

EFF leadership and party members in Kimberley on Monday morning disrupted business operations at the three Clicks branches in the city. All three stores were closed and staff members were sent home.

The EFF labelled Clicks as being racist after an advertisement which depicted a black woman’s hair as dry and damaged and white woman’s smooth and soft. This resulted in the protests. The party said the retraction of the advertisement by the company was merely down to silence the outrage.

Graffiti stating “racist store” was written on one of the pictures at the store at the North Cape Mall. A security guard at the mall removed the graffiti after protesters made their way to the store at the Diamond Pavilion Mall.

The provincial leadership of the party protested in front of the closed doors of the Clicks branch. Police monitored the situation.

The EFF told the management of the store that all staff should be sent home.

The provincial secretary of the party, Shadrack Tlhaole, said the store will remain closed until they have found an amicable and satisfactory resolution.

“As a party we have taken a decision to act against Clicks stores nationwide. We are not fighting individuals, but we are fighting the company’s decision. We wrote a letter to Clicks to withdraw the advertisement and to contact the company who worked on the advertisement.

“We received feedback from Clicks which stated that nothing will happen and that we were merely threatening them. That was an indication that Clicks is arrogant. We have come peacefully and want to resolve this matter in a peaceful manner. We want a satisfactory apology. However, if we are not being taken seriously, we are willing to be arrested for this action. If Clicks has any problem against our protests, then we will meet them in court,” Tlhaole said.

He advised management to make alternative arrangements for clients who may be in need of chronic medication. “This is a national action and the duration of this action will depend on the reaction from the company,” he said.

Meanwhile, as members of the EFF and security staff hired by Clicks continue to face off over an offensive advert published last week, TRESemme – the company responsible for the advert, has apologised, saying they are investigating ’how this happened’.

The advert, which referred to images of black women’s hair as dull and damaged, while it described white women’s hair as fine, flat or normal, was part of a TRESemmé promotional campaign published on the Clicks website.

Since Friday, Clicks has faced a massive backlash on social media.

Clicks chief executive officer Vikesh Ramsyunder said those responsible had been suspended.

“Already, the negligent employees have been suspended, and we have engaged the supplier, who has now also issued an apology.

“This incident has highlighted the need to audit all of our third-party (and our own) promotional material for any implicit or explicit bias as well as the need for diversity and inclusivity training for all of our head office employees. This will be urgently implemented,” he said in an open letter.

Meanwhile, TRESemmé South Africa and Unilever have also apologised for their advert.

In a statement on the Unilever website, TRESemmé South Africa said: “We are very sorry that images used in a TRESemmé South Africa marketing campaign on the Clicks website promote racist stereotypes about hair.

“The campaign set out to celebrate the beauty of all hair types and the range of solutions that TRESemmé offers, but we got it wrong.

“The images are not in line with the values of our brand, or of Clicks.

“TRESemmé South Africa apologises for the offence these images have caused. We also apologise to the Clicks group.

“We are looking into how this happened and why it wasn’t picked up, and we will take all necessary steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” the group said.

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