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At least 15 people arrested during protests at Clicks stores - Cele

The minister on Wednesday said while the right to protest was protected in South Africa, police could not allow damage to property.

EFF members protest outside a Clicks store at the Sandton City shopping centre in Johannesburg on 7 September 2020. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Police Minister Bheki Cele on Wednesday said that at least 15 people were arrested during the ongoing protests at Clicks stores.

Hundreds of Clicks stores were forced to shut their doors while many were trashed by Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members after party leader Julius Malema told supporters to “attack” the stores on Monday.

The EFF wants Clicks to remain shut until Friday after it published a racist ad on its website referring to black natural hair as “dry, damaged, and frizzy”.

Cele said that while the right to protest was protected in South Africa, police could not allow damage to property.

“The genesis of this advert is glaring racism that is shown by this business and we must collectively condemn it at all costs. The demonstration of such blatant disregard and humiliation of African people can’t go unabated,” Cele said in a statement.

He added: “Police should ensure that the rule of law is maintained. They must deal decisively with those who choose to break the law. I’m encouraged that officers are making arrests and urge them to continue to ensure the protection and safety of customers, staff members in the affected areas.”

WATCH: EFF members protest outside Clicks store

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