The party claims the advert is a human rights violation.
Johannesburg – The Economic Freedom Fighters have slammed pharmaceutical giants, Clicks, saying their website which sparked fury on Friday, had displayed disgusting and racist labels.
The company’s website had displayed a category of black woman hair as ‘dry and damaged hair’ and showed a category of white women’s hair as ‘fine and flat hair’.
EFF spokesperson Vuyani Pambo said the pharmaceutical’s conduct portrayed black women in a negative light.
“It is inexplicable that this imagery can be portrayed, one which reinforces the racist narrative of the abnormality of blackness as opposed to whiteness as a standard.
“Anti-black racism through the politics of hair has been a benchmark of discrimination against black people across society and through various oppressive histories in apartheid South Africa, the infamous pencil test was used to classify races, and when the pencil did not slip through hair, this was a measure of concluding that one was part of the inferior black race,” he said.
Pambo said black women were suspended, expelled and barred from writing exams because of their black hair that was perceived as “untidy” at former Model C schools
“These labels are ascribed to black children who have Afro’s, braids and various hairstyles which are common to black communities.
“The transgression that Clicks has made goes far beyond a simple advert, rather, it represents a cornerstone of anti-black racism which manifests through the disregarding of black identity.
“It is part of a long history of making the features of black people abnormal, insufficient and uncivilised, while presenting the white identity and features of white people as the standard for humanness and humanity,” said Pambo.
The EFF said the gaffe by Clicks, should be regarded as a human rights violation and a perpetuation of the violence of colonialism and racism.
“All progressive forces must embark on direct action to ensure Clicks are held accountable for their racism, and this is not brushed under the carpet like many violations black people are confronted with in this country,” said Pambo.
Meanwhile, Clicks has apologised for the incident in a tweet earlier on Friday.
“We would like to issue an unequivocal apology. We have removed the images which go against everything we believe in.
“We do not condone racism and we are strong advocates of natural hair. We are deeply sorry and will put in place stricter measures on our website.
“We have made a mistake and sincerely apologise for letting you down. We recognise we have a role to play in creating a more diverse and inclusive S.A, starting with our website content.
“We know we need to do better, and commit to ensuring our content better reflects this value,” the pharmaceutical said.