DURBAN: POLICE and security responded swiftly to keep a group of Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) supporters in check when they protested outside a store belonging to clothing retail brand Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) in Gateway Shopping Centre on Saturday.
The group of about 70 toyi-toyied outside the store carrying placards saying “racists must go back to Europe” and demanded that H&M stores countrywide be shut .
The store closed as soon as the protesters made their feelings known and police asked protesters to leave and they did so peacefully.
Protests began in Gauteng last week in response to an H&M advert featuring a black child wearing a hoodie with the wording: “Coolest monkey in the jungle” on it.
EFF leader Julius Malema previously said H&M should pack its bags and leave the country.
A notice on the door of the H&M Gateway store carried an apology from the company but EFF regional co-ordinator in eThekwini, Lwanele Tshwane, said they did not accept it.
“We want to reclaim the dignity of the black people,” he said, “we cannot tolerate racism because of the job opportunities these stores have created in this country.”
Akash Maharaj, Gateway centre manager, said they had met with the EFF to discuss their demand.
“It is up to H&M to decide whether they reopen or not. Our duty is to ensure the safety of all our customers,” he said.