South African police have arrested an unnamed opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Member of Parliament and 10 other people following this week’s violent protests at beauty and health chain Clicks’ shops nationwide, Police Minister Bheki Cele said on Wednesday.“Ten people, including an EFF MP, have been arrested for charges relating to the destruction of property. The MP has been charged with assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest,” Cele said.
Calling on police officers to protect the beleaguered retailer’s staff, property and customers, the minister denounced the vandalism that took place at several shops of the health and beauty products retailer during the EFF-led protests that started on Monday.
The violent protests erupted after a weekend advert depicted a white woman’s hair as being better than that of black woman when it came to using Clicks’ products.
While the offending advert was removed immediately following an outrage from the majority population, protestors took to the malls to trash Clicks’ shops, burning one shop in Johannesburg before police restored order on Tuesday.
The EFF said the advert had racist undertones and called for those who approved the running of the advert to be fired.
On Wednesday advertising firm TRESemmé that produced the controversial advert apologised to South Africans, saying that the images were not in line with the values of its brand or of Clicks.
“We also apologise to the Clicks group. We are looking into how this happened and why it wasn’t picked up. We will take all necessary steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” TRESemmé South Africa said.