H&M stores trashed in South Africa over 'coolest monkey' hoodie

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A large group of protesters dressed in EFF regalia have stormed the H&M stores in Sandton, Menlyn Park and East Rand on Saturday, trashing the stores in an apparent protest of an online ad that has been labelled racist.

Police also cautioned members of the public during the protest to avoid the mall even though they maintained the situation were "under control".

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.

After police arrived, protesters gathered in front of the shop's door chanting, dancing and whistling, according to Xinhua reporter at the site. "No arrests have been effected up to so far", Dlamini said.

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The wave of attacks were organized in advance of the stores' openings on Saturday, and celebrated by Floyd Shivambu, a spokesman for the leftist Economic Freedom Fighters party, stating that the retailer is "facing the consequences for its racism".

"The safety and security of our customers, staff, and tenants is of utmost importance and the affected area has been secured by the South African Police Service (SAPS)".

On the other side of Pretoria, police officers were on standby at the Kolonnade Mall, as the EFF protests targeted different shopping centres.

Ndebele said "normal trading" had resumed in the mall.

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Troopers searched the area, but were unable to find them. "It looks like the clerk was the lone person at the time", Gibbs said. They drove the vehicle to the 3100 block of North Keating, where they committed an armed robbery, police said.

The company has since apologised for the advertisement.

"We are here to tell them".

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

Some Twitter users had alleged that the EFF had already caused chaos at the Kolonnade Mall.

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The incident comes after the global clothing company H&M came under fire for an advertisement showing a black child in a hoodie that read "Coolest Monkey in the Jungle", sparking worldwide outrage on social media and other platforms.

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