Johannesburg - Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) national chairperson Advocate Dali Mpofu on Monday vowed that ongoing protests being held by members of his party would continue until the "violence of racism meted out against millions of Black people" stops.
Mpofu's sentiments come hours after EFF members once again protested outside international retail giant H&M's store at Mall of Africa.
In videos making the rounds on social media, members can be seen peacefully singing and marching outside the store.
This is in contrast to previous protests, which saw numerous stores across the country vandalised and trashed by angry members.
Mpofu, in an interview with eNCA, reaffirmed the party's approval of the ongoing protests, vowing that they would not stop until racism against black people comes to an end.
"We are going to continue with our protests; what should stop is the violence of racism meted out against us and billions of Black people called monkeys.
"We're not pacifists, make no mistake. The fact that we don't use violence to achieve our goals is simply because there is the democratic space that has been created. we have deliberately chosen to use the courts, parliament and protest action. People must not mistake us for pacifists, we're not pacifists and we're not scared of confrontation and we will confront a situation proportionally to what it deserves."
Adding to this was the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, which confirmed it had written to the retail giant requesting a meeting over the scandal.
"The foundation requested a meeting to get an understanding from H&M about how such a racist advert could have passed by the company’s marketing team, and its management, without the racial undertones being picked up.
"The letter, which was sent to both its global headquarters and to its local offices, stated: 'It is of serious concern that your company published the advert without considering the historical context of how the word and image of a “monkey” has been used to racially demean black people for generations'.
The letter also raised the fact that this was not the first time the company had come under scrutiny with regards to its response to racial insensitivity.
"In 2015, the company came under criticism from a social media user for not featuring black models following the opening of their stores in South Africa. The company’s response via Twitter implied that white models were featured to create a ‘positive image’.
“These two incidents are perhaps indicative of the type of ignorance that continues to prevail around issues related to race, perhaps not only at H&M, but in the broader advertising sector and in society in general,” said the foundation’s executive director Neeshan Balton.
The foundation confirmed that H&M has agreed to a meeting with its country manager.
The latest protest comes days after EFF members stormed the Swedish retailer’s stores in up-market malls in Pretoria, Joburg and Cape Town, upending racks and pushing over shop dummies.
The reason for their violent protest action was an advert for an H&M product, a boy’s green hoodie, modelled by a young black child bearing the words: “Coolest monkey in the jungle.”
H&M has since apologised for the advert and withdrew the item from its online store.
“We strongly believe that racism and bias in any shape or form, deliberate or accidental, are simply unacceptable,” H&M said in a statement.
"We have got this wrong and we are deeply sorry.”