South African protesters ransack H&M stores over "racist" ad

H&M stores trashed by anti-racism group over ‘monkey’

A H&M clothing store in the Sandton City shopping mall Johannnesburg

EFF protests were also reported at H&M stores in Gauteng's Mall of the South and Mall of Africa, and at Clearwater Mall in Johannesburg.

National Basketball Association star LeBron James, rapper Diddy and singer The Weeknd are among the celebrities who expressed shock in recent days over the H&M image, which has been removed from online promotions but continues to be circulated on social media.

A police officer who declined to be identified in the press said members of the SAPS crowd control public order police unit had been summoned to the Kolonnade Mall, but there was no sign of the EFF members. In videos posted on social media, some are seen pulling down racks and tearing clothes from their shelves and throwing them on the ground. Some have branded the Swedish retailer "racist" after a green jumper had the phrase, "Coolest Monkey In The Jungle" written across the front and a black child wearing it.

However, EFF Deputy President Floyd Shivambu congratulated members for physically confronting racism.

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"At the East Rand Mall the protesters managed to enter the shop and stole several items", he said.

EFF leader Julius Malema defended the rampage, saying: "We make no apology about what the fighters did today".

Leftist activists in South Africa are trashing H&M retail stores throughout the country in protest of the fashion retailer's so-called "racist" hoodie with the words "coolest monkey in the jungle", worn by a black child on the company's website.

"We are not going to allow anyone to use the colour of our skin to humiliate us, to exclude us", he added.

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"Apology se gat", he said.

The singer began his collaboration with H&M in 2017.

"Our marketing policy, campaign productions and work is something we constantly discuss internally and with creative professionals".

"I'm deeply offended and will not be working with [H&M] anymore", he tweeted.

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