Protesters trash a H&M store in South Africa over racist ad

H&M closes all its stores in South Africa after protests

National Basketball Association star LeBron James, rapper Diddy and singer The Weeknd are among the celebrities who expressed shock in recent days over the H&M image, which has been removed from online promotions but continues to be circulated on social media.

H&M's use of a black child model for a hoodie with the phrase "coolest monkey in the jungle" attracted widespread criticism.

Members of the Economic Freedom Front (EFF) attacked H&M stores across the country on Saturday in protest against a racist advert by the company.

"We're deeply sorry that the picture was taken, and we also regret the actual print", it said in a statement.

H&M has closed several stores across Gauteng following the protests.

However, EFF Deputy President Floyd Shivambu congratulated members for physically confronting racism.

"At the East Rand Mall the protesters managed to enter the shop and stole several items", he said.

While nobody was arrested, police arrived and fired rubber bullets into the crowd scattering the protesters. "If they are not going to close the shop, they must just know we are going to be here nearly every day, starting from today", he said.

Innocent shoppers were forced to flee as activists swept through the stores, which included Africa's flagship H&M stores in the upmarket suburb of Sandton, Johannesburg.

While music mogul P Diddy tweeted an altered version of the image, saying: "Put some respect on it! when you look at us make sure you see royalty and super-natural God sent glory".

EFF protestors also targeted H&M stores in Cape Town, including the store in Canal Walk.

She said the hoodie was "one of hundreds of outfits my son has modelled", and urged people to "stop crying wolf all the time".

Singer The Weeknd, who had collaborated with the company, said the advert made him feel "shocked and embarrassed".

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