H&M shutters all South Africa stores amid destructive protests

H&M shutters all South Africa stores amid destructive protests

The affected stores are reportedly closed until further notice.

The H&M store has remained closed since then.

The ad was widely criticized for being racist, including by Canadian pop star The Weeknd, who collaborated with H&M, the world's second-largest clothing group, on two collections in 2017.

Despite rumours on social media, at no point was the mall shut down, and at no point did their march turn violent.

Each of the affected shopping centers confirmed the incidents, saying that while no injuries had been reported, security personnel at the malls remained on "high alert" in the wake of the protests.

H&M was widely derided this week for putting a black child model in its "Coolest Monkey in the Jungle" hoodie on its website.

The aftermath of the ransacking
The aftermath of the ransacking

The demonstrations were organised by the radical Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) opposition party after the clothing chain issued a picture of a black child modelling a hoodie with the slogan "coolest monkey in the jungle".

"All the outlets of H&M in South Africa [were] allegedly targeted by EFF party members simultaneously", read the statement from East Rand mall.

Riot police have fired rubber bullets at protesters as they vandalised a string of H&M's stores in South Africa and ordered the Swedish brand to stop trading.

So this is H&M at Menlyn... a group of people are vandalizing and just throwing clothes around.

However, shortly after H&M's HR manager Randall April read out the formal apology relating to the advert to the protestors, which was issued by H&M worldwide on January 9, Joseph was quick to voice his disappointment. Reuters adds that although police were monitoring the protests, they have not yet made any arrests.

The company told Huffington Post: "By a positive image we mean that we use a mix of models with different ethnic backgrounds in our campaigns".

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