Cops monitoring H&M protests at Gauteng malls

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Protesters wore red and danced outside department stores, some held signs which said: 'H&M say "hello" to coolest monkeys'.

The Pretoria East Rekord reported that protesters had broken the shop windows at an H&M branch at the Menlyn Park shopping centre in Tshwane‚ resulting in the entire floor at the centre being shut down.

The image advertising the £7.99 jumper was removed from H&M's U.S. and United Kingdom websites shortly after the outrage broke and the retailer quickly issued a statement apologising to "anyone it may have offended".

Footage on Saturday shows clothing in one of the South African stores scattered everywhere. We have temporarily closed our stores in South Africa.

H&M also took to Instagram to express further apology, saying: 'We understand that many people are upset about the image of the children's hoodie. None of our staff or customers have been injured.

"We strongly believe that racism and bias in any shape or form, deliberate or accidental, are simply unacceptable".

Members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), a South African revolutionary socialist political party, targeted six H&M stores in the Gauteng province.

In Menlyn, protestors had also managed to enter the shop and threw clothing around.

Mbuyiseni Ndlozi from the ultra-left group said: "The time of apologies for racism are over; there must be consequences to anti-black racism, period!"

Police officers have been deployed to monitor the situation and safeguard shoppers, but they have no idea when the protesters would leave.

"H&M is not the last one ..."

This is not the first time the retail giant has come under fire in South Africa.

The firm's spokesperson, Amelia-May Woudstra, said the company was sorry for the ad, "We sincerely apologize for offending customers with an image of a printed hooded top that was published on selected global online channels".

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