On Sunday the EFF released a statement saying they would shut down all 880 Clicks stores themselves should the retailer not comply to their demand to close willingly until 12 September.
This came after South Africans were outraged about an advert on the Clicks SA website depicting naturally afro hair as being dry, damaged, frizzy and dull. While a picture of blonde hair is described as being normal hair. The EFF, along with many others, called the ad “offensive and racist”.
Despite the EFF’s call for a shutdown, Clicks SA tweeted that their stores will trade as normal on Monday 7 September. However, this seemingly fueled the fire, the EFF’s Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi called the response arrogant, while the party’s leader Julius Malema commented on the group’s tweet saying “we are on, let’s meet tomorrow”.
Clicks SA as well as the third party, Tresemme, who had provided the ad for publishing, had issued apologies on Saturday. The Clicks Group CEO, Vikesh Ramsunder, also published an open letter in which he expresses his disappointment in their error of judgment. He said the negligent employees have been suspended and the Clicks Board has agreed on an audit of all 3rd party promotional material. Ramsunder says as part of their response the group will prioritise its diversity and inclusion training programme.