Health and beauty retailer Clicks says it will trade on Monday despite calls by the EFF to shut down its stores over a racist hair advert.
Here’s a wrap of the controversy:
The advert and the backlash
The retailer trended on Twitter on Friday after it labelled black hair “dry” and “damaged” in an ad on its website, while blonde, straight hair was labelled “fine” and “flat.” Scores of South Africans were outraged by the advert and called out the retailer on social media for its discrimination and prejudice against black natural hair.
Some said the advert was put out on purpose to “stir racism” and “provoke” black people, while others said the retailer must sell natural hair care products at discounted prices to show solidarity with black women.
Clicks issued an “unequivocal” apology, saying the images go against its values.
“We do not condone racism and are strong advocates of natural hair. We are deeply sorry and will put in place stricter measures on our website,” it said.
The EFF on Sunday condemned the advert and called on its “fighters” and “ground forces” to shut down all Clicks stores around the country on Monday.
According to the statement, EFF leader Julius Malema will occupy the Mall of the North in Polokwane, Limpopo, deputy president Floyd Shivambu will be deployed to Sandton City in Gauteng and secretary-general Marshall Dlamini will occupy Mall of Africa in Midrand.
Clicks will trade on Monday
The retailer issued another statement on Sunday, saying it will trade despite threats made by the EFF to shut down all its stores.
“Clicks provides a much needed health-care service to South Africans and stores will not be closed. Contingency plans have been put in place to ensure the safety of both customers and staff,” it said.