by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG – RACIAL tensions have returned to haunt South Africa after Clicks, a leading pharmacy, health and beauty retailer, posted an advert it has conceded was offensive.
The advert portrayed black hair as “dry and damaged.”
Clicks has offered an apology but it seems the regret was too little too late.
Vikesh Ramsunder, the Group Chief Executive Officer for Clicks, expressed “deep disappointed” at the “insensitive” and “offensive images.”
“I apologise unreservedly for the hurt and anger these images have caused,” Ramsunder said.
However, the apology has been wholly dismissed as ‘unacceptable.’
Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, the Minister for Small Business Development, dismissed it as “meaningless.”
“The time for South Africa to accept lip service apologies on racism and derogatory acts is over,” the minister stated.
“Apologies must be backed by action to build a non-racial and equal society,” Ntshavheni added.
Clicks was a target of violence on Monday.
Its stores were closed, in response to earlier threats by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), the pan African opposition party.
Following the nationwide protests, EFF issued a strongly-worded statement to Clicks lawyers, who initially had called for the opposition to desist from shutting down the stores.
EFF Commander-In-Chief (CIC), Julius Malema insisted his party should protest on the targeted 880 Clicks stores nationwide.
However, another opposition, Democratic Alliance (DA), condemned the violence.
“DA strongly condemns the EFF’s incitement of violence and the resultant malicious destruction of property with regards to Clicks stores countrywide,” Andrew Whitfield DA Shadow Minister of Police, said.
Jackson Mthembu said while the racism in the Clicks advert was disturbing, the violence targeting its stores was regrettable.
– CAJ News