445 Clicks Stores Shut Down As EFF Continue Protests

Over 400 Clicks stores throughout South Africa were shut down due to protest action carried out by the EFF yesterday, and the party plans to continue protests for the next five days

445 Clicks Stores Shut Down As EFF Continue Protests[Image: Timothy Bernard /African News Agency]

More than 400 Clicks stores were closed on Monday after the EFF carried out protests in malls throughout country.

Following the controversial advertisements that were placed on Clicks’ website last week, EFF leader, Julius Malema, demanded for the employees responsible for the publishing of the adverts to be dismissed. However, Clicks’ apology for the advertisements was followed by said staff being suspended and Malema followed through on his threats to carry out violence in Clicks outlets across the country yesterday.

According to a Clicks spokesperson, the EFF-led protest action was reportedly carried out in at least 452 stores.

“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,” the spokesperson said, according to IOL.

“Clicks is unable to estimate the total damage to stores given the ongoing protest action. 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. Clicks continues to monitor the situation,” the spokesperson added.

Amidst the protests that broke out yesterday, EFF spokesperson Vuyani Pambo vowed to continue the protests at the health and beauty retailer for the next five days.

“Their racism will cost them harshly, and the EFF will ensure no Clicks store operates for the next five days unless our demands are met. We will continue our peaceful protests, and we condemn any and all violence meted out on Clicks,” he said in another IOL report.

He also called for EFF members not only to boycott stores but report those that are still operating via social media, whilst saying that the party is supporting peaceful protests and disassociating them from the countless instances of vandalism and looting.

“This is in no way associated with the EFF as our protest action is conducted peacefully and lawfully. The Queenstown incident has been brought to our attention, and we have dealt with it swiftly and accordingly. We call on all members of the public to alert the EFF through its social media platforms should they encounter any Clicks store which is operational.”

Earlier, the High Court dismissed an application for an interdict by Clicks lawyers against Malema and the EFF to stop shutdowns.

“The Economic Freedom Fighters welcomes the dismissal of racist Clicks SA’s court application to stop protests against their unrepentant racism. The application by Clicks was dismissed due to being defective, with costs, and as the EFF, we are vindicated that their arrogance was dealt with harshly by a court of law,” said Pambo.

“Clicks made an irrational and silly attempt to prevent the EFF from practising its constitutional right to protest. Their approach to the courts was nothing but a waste of time of our judiciary at a time when it has far more important matters before it. Clicks can no longer avoid accountability for their assertion that the identity of black people is inferior to that of white people and we will continue to protest peacefully across the country, ensuring no Clicks store operates until our demands are met over the next five days.”

Meanwhile, the Durban Chamber of Commerce has criticised the EFF for the economic consequences of its forced shutdown of Clicks outlets.

“Property has been damaged, staff lives have been put at risk and, no doubt, financial losses have been incurred as a result of the violence. Most importantly, patients who depend on Clicks to fill their medication prescriptions have also been compromised at the affected sites,” said Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry CEO, Palesa Phili.

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