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Malema calls on EFF members to be combat-ready, Clicks vows to stay open

The red berets attacked Clicks stores nationwide as per Julius Malema's instructions after the retailer published and advert last week which insulted black hair.

EFF leader Julius Malema shutting down the Clicks store in the Cycad Shopping Centre in Limpopo on 7 September 2020. Picture: @EFFSouthAfrica/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has called on his members to be combat-ready this week to close any Clicks store that may reopen as the retailer was grilled for its racist advert.

The red berets attacked Clicks stores nationwide as per Malema's instructions after the retailer published an ad last week, which insults black hair.

Clicks has said that the ad was put together by TRESemmé and they merely published it.

But the EFF is calling for all those behind the ad to be fired.

A number of Clicks stores nationwide have been damaged and forced to close by EFF members who heeded the call by Malema on social media to attack.

GALLERY: EFF members protest at Clicks stores

Glass walls were smashed at the Lemon Tree Shopping Center in Alberton and there was an attempted petrol bombing at a store in Emalahleni.

Various stores around the country also saw goods being ripped from shelves.

In the Western Cape, seven EFF members were arrested during Monday’s demonstrations.

In spite of this, and the criminal case opened by the DA against Malema and the members of his party, the commander-in-chief has told his members to remain defiant throughout the week during their planned protests.

“So, today is the beginning of rolling action against Clicks. Everyday fighters, you must be combat-ready when you are called that there is a store opened, you have to respond quickly.”

He also had a message for black security guards and police officers.

“Stop provoking people who are not fighting against you. Black policemen, start respecting yourselves. When you are called, you should ask the question of what the problem is and if there’s any crime being committed.”

The EFF wants Clicks stores shut until Friday and for those responsible for the ad to be fired.

Meanwhile, Clicks said it would be opening its stores once again on Tuesday, despite threats by the EFF to continue its attack on stores.

Speaking on The Money Show, Clicks group chief executive, Vikesh Ramsunder said they had to close 400 of their stores on Monday.

“The most important for me was obviously protecting our staff and obviously customers. We had some support in some areas from the South African Police Services as well as more security. But certainly, there were areas where it was violent and there was no way of controlling it. The best way was to avoid confrontation with the protesters.”

Clicks said protest action by the EFF had been reported at 425 of its stores in South Africa.

At last count 51 stores were closed in the Western Cape, 92 in Kwa-Zulu Natal and the Eastern Cape, and 302 in Gauteng and elsewhere.

"Clicks strongly condemns violence of any kind, intimidation of staff and its customers and the vandalism of its stores. All incidents of criminal behaviour are being reported to the authorities. Clicks is working with SAPS to ensure the safety of staff, customers and members of the public," it said in a statement released on Monday evening.

"Clicks provides a much-needed healthcare service to South Africans and will continue to trade.

"Clicks has taken full accountability and apologised unreservedly for the advertisement published on its website and is committed to effecting real change across the business."

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