South Africa: EFF supporters attack H&M stores over 'racist jumper advert'

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Clothes racks were pushed over, mannequins thrown on the floor and clothes destroyed in H&M stores at Sandton City and Menlyn in Johannesburg.

Gauteng police have confirmed that they fired rubber bullets at the East Rand Mall in Boksburg to disperse Economic Freedom Fighters members who staged protests and vandalised several H&M stores around the province against a monkey sweater advert.

The Menlyn store was shut after it was completely trashed by the angry protesters.

The clothing company tweeted an apology.

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. Others pointed out that the mess and chaos caused would also be left to black workers to clean up.

"We can't accept that H&M, after what they have done, is coming now and saying we apologise".

CM Siddaramaiah after meeting Congress President Rahul Gandhi
They demanded an immediate apology from the Congress party for calling the BJP and its affiliates terrorists. Siddaramaiah has spread falsehood against the BJP for reaping political gains, said the activists.

Swedish fashion group H&M apologised for the advert earlier this week following criticism from across the world, including Manchester United star Romelu Lukaku and basketball player LeBron James. Though the child's mother did not see a problem with it, the popular clothing chain apologized for the image.

She has also revealed the comments sparked a wave of online abuse and had even been called a "monkey" - the same racist slur that sparked the outrage.

"What matters most to us is the safety of our employees and customers". Some held signs that said "H&M say "hello" to coolest monkeys" and "away with H&M racist tendencies".

The company responded that its marketing plan was one which meant to convey a positive image - implying black models were not in line with this image‚ which caused a storm of protest.

"We are deeply sorry that the picture was taken, and we also regret the actual print."

Responding to a customer inquiry H&M South Africa said the offending product "was not available in South Africa".

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