Newcastle Clicks stores do not escape protest action by EFF

EFF, Clicks, Newcastillian
Newcastillian
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As we have all come to learn, the health and beauty retailer, Clicks, has come under the national spotlight. Following the release of an advert on its website which went viral on Friday, September 4, which according to the EFF is racist.

The advert sparked outrage within the EFF as it included photographs of four women, two black and two white, describing the hair of the black women as dry and damaged, whereas the hair of the white women as fine, flat and normal. 

Clicks CEO Vikesh Ramsunder has since apologised profusely, stating, “As Group CEO of Clicks, I am deeply disappointed that we allowed insensitive and offensive images to be published on our website. I apologise unreservedly for the hurt and anger these images have caused.”

Furthermore, he said the emotive responses of their customers have been mirrored by their employees and management teams.

“And, whilst the images and content were provided to us by our supplier TRESemmé, this does not absolve us from blame. This is why; we took accountability for this error of judgment by issuing a public apology and swiftly removing the offensive material from our website.”

However, despite his apology, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have taken on the cause of protesting outside Clicks stores across the nation. In a statement issued by the EFF, the political party calls for the closure of all Clicks Stores in light of their “unrepentant and perverse racism.”

Stating that Clicks participated in the dehumanising of black people through the advert, which they feel makes it seem that blacks are inferior to whites, which is a matter of deep concern. 

As the EFF drives for the closure of Clicks stores due “unrepentant and perverse racism”, one needs to keep the following in mind: Clicks is a major company boasting 93% black employment and the person ultimately responsible for the advert would have been their Marketing Director, Veli Mabena. 

With EFF supporters embarking in protest against Clicks, seeing their retail stores in Newcastle not escaping the attention.

This morning, 8 September 2020, EFF supporters gathered outside the Clicks Store at Newcastle Mall.

“They were initially quiet, simply singing, before things quickly escalated,” said a member of staff from a nearby store. According to the staff member, who wishes to remain anonymous due to the controversy around the situation, things escalated when the EFF supporters attempted to close the store.

“When Clicks refused to close, they attempted to put a chain around the door, which the police removed.”

It was then that the EFF supporters were escorted off the premises.

One of the EFF members said, “The police arrested some of our members and went as far as to use pepper spray on us because we are fighting against the system and racism.” 

EFF, Clicks, Newcastillian
Image sourced from the EFF Amajuba Region’s Facebook page.

Once escorted out of the mall by the police, the EFF supporters continued to stand in the heat, refusing to be intimidated by the watchful eye of the SAPS. However, they eventually dispersed but threaten, they would most likely return. “We are not going anywhere,” was the departing words of one EFF supporter.

Following this aggressive and chaotic incident, Clicks management at Newcastle Mall declined to comment on the situation.

As the protests are expected to continue throughout the week, the Gauteng High Court has since granted Clicks an interdict against the EFF. According to the interdict, the EFF may not intimidate or threaten any staff member or customer.

With Clicks now under the spotlight, what are your thoughts on the situation? Do you feel the EFF is justified in feeling offended by the advert? Or do you feel the protest action is an overreaction? 

Share your views and thoughts with us in the comment section below.

Authors: Quinton Boucher and Calvin Swemmer

Edited: Calvin Swemmer

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4 Responses

  1. Even though the ad was not right, the EFF has, once again, gone off the rail!!! They are so full of hatred!!!

  2. God created all of us. If you are not happy of who you are and what you look like, nothing in this world will make you feel better about yourself. You can take away all the shampoo and conditioner, everything that make you feel as if you not equal to others. You will always be you. Thats how GOD created YOU…

  3. I think this protest is just a way of seeking attention…when women gets beaten by men they say nothing but when they think women are offended by hair products they want to take actions in their own hands….As the “producer” isn’t “white” or I think according to the name and surname why the hell should they protest…they’re acting like a bunch of 2 year old who dont get attention…

  4. They’re overreacting, cause white people hair are also dry sometime like my own, and they have to advertised to help people with dry hair to use the right products to help them and that is not racist

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