- The Clicks ordeal, resulting in nationwide EFF protests, has prompted a response from the government
- From ministers to an overall statement, the advert behind the chaos has been condemned and the apology issued snubbed
- However, not everyone agrees with the violence and unrest on display despite the condemnation
The government has responded to the Clicks ordeal after numerous stores suffered damages during protests led by the Economic Freedom Fighters began on Monday.
In a statement shared by the GCIS, the outrage over the advert that sparked the chaos was noted while the 'lawlessness' on display was condemned:
"Whilst we are equally disturbed by the crude racist display by the advertisement in question, the acts of lawlessness of vandalising and burning down Clicks stores that have been reported are concerning and go against the spirit of peace and respect for human rights that has shaped this country since the dawn of democracy."
Citizens were warned against taking the law into their own hands by engaging in destructive behaviour against the company:
"Engaging in lawless behaviour is not a responsible way to resolve conflict. As this matter is being ventilated, the government calls on all South Africans to resist the temptation to take the law into their own hands, remain calm and follow the correct and legal channels to address their concerns."
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has also voiced similar sentiments, adamant that neither racism nor 'anarchy' is going to move SA forward:
“Anarchy is not the motive force of transformation. It is regressive. Racism too is not going to take our beloved country forward! Bakuninism and racism are in the same WhatsApp group."
Mboweni warned that accepting 'disorderly behaviour' would eventually come back to haunt SA:
“This thing of allowing disorderly behaviour will come back to haunt this country. You need a very firm stance on the Rule of Law. Protest, yes. Destroy property and business, no! But private enterprise must also be sensitive to our environment. We are building a new society."
Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, Small Business Development head, has rejected the apology issued by Clicks over the ordeal:
"Clicks misses the point that the offence is not only about the images that are insensitive but the fact that it represents the views of TRESemmé that are racis and reflects the continued undermining of the beauty of African women and the violence they suffer when they are deemed not meeting certain superficial standards. Therefore to pull down the advert and issue a public apology cannot cut it."
In a statement issued by the minister in response to the scandal, she made it clear that the time for apologies is over:
"The time for South Africa to accept lip service apologies on racism and derogatory acts is over, but apologies must be backed by action to build a non-racial and equal society. A non-racial and equal society can only be underpinned by an inclusive economy, which requires the empowerment of black, women and youth-owned businesses."
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that the EFF had kept true to their promise of hosting protests until Clicks met their demands, with some branches petrol-bombed or trashed during the course of the day.
The party had managed to escape unscathed from a court application attempting to halt the protests, welcoming the 'harsh' response from the judiciary.
The protests are set to continue on Tuesday with the SA Human Rights Commission requesting an urgent meeting with all parties involved.
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