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DA lodges complaint against EFF leadership over Clicks protests and arrest of MP

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Police Minister Bheki Cele has announced 10 arrests, including an unnamed EFF MP, in connection with the protests against the Clicks hair care products advertisement

EFF protesters stand outside a mall in Cape Town. Earlier this week, hundreds of Clicks stores had to be closed due to protest over a hair care advert. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane, African News Agency (ANA)

THE DA said on Wednesday that it has laid a complaint with Parliament’s joint committee on ethics and members interests against parliamentarians allegedly involved in the incitement of violence and destruction of property during the Clicks protests.

Da chief whip Natasha Mazzone said they have also laid a complaint against the EFF leadership with the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC).

“The conduct displayed by EFF leaders and MPs on social media, at various shopping centres and on streets across South Africa is truly appalling. Shops have been petrol bombed, workers and customers have been intimidated and members of the media were manhandled when they strove to do their jobs,” Mazzone said.

She made the statement as Police Minister Bheki Cele announced 10 arrests, including an unnamed EFF MP, in connection with the protests against the Clicks hair care products advertisement.

Mazzone said the EFF’s justification of what she called their violent behaviour was appalling and at odds with their roles as MPs and their duty to uphold the tenets of the constitution.

“The DA has always supported South Africans’ right to protest. It is when protests descend into anarchy causing violence and destruction, that serious consideration must be given on whether this form of protest is nothing more than an intimidation tactic meant to inspire fear and blind obedience.”

She added that the violence and destruction that accompanied the protests have distracted from the legitimate pain and anger which resulted from Clicks’ offensive and insensitive advert.

“In no act committed by the EFF this week was there an ounce of compassion for the workers whose livelihoods depends on Clicks as their employer. There was no afterthought about the loss of income that would be incurred while shops are closed to be fixed,” Mazzone said.

She added that the EFF likes to claim that they are all about empowering the poor towards economic freedom yet they have done very little to put those words into action.

“The EFF needs to be shown the error of its ways by the ethics committee and the SAHRC and must be stopped in their destructive tracks.”