H&M stores in South Africa have been temporarily closed following unrest triggered by the clothing brand’s controversial ‘coolest monkey in the jungle’ hoodie ad.
Protesters flocked to stores over the weekend and police were forced to use rubber bullets to clear the crowds outside a branch of the fast fashion chain in Boksburg on Saturday.
The protests were organised by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), which is a radical militant group started by expelled former African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) President Julius Malema in 2013.
After protests took place at various branches of H&M across the country, the company made the decision to temporarily close all stores in order to keep staff and shoppers safe.
What matters most to us is the safety of our employees and customers,”
A statement from H&M South Africa said.
We have temporarily closed our stores in South Africa. None of our staff or customers have been injured. We continue to monitor the situation closely and will open the stores as soon as the situation is safe again.”