Clicks hatred ran high after the pharmacy head office ran an advert that suggested black hair is inferior to white hair. The company immediately apologized. But, we reported that many black South Africans didn’t accept the apology. They agreed with the EFF that the advert amounted to deliberate racism. Now, countrywide EFF protests resulted in the Witbank Saveways shopping centre being petrol-bombed. A store in Polokwane reportedly suffered a similar fate. People worry about jobs for thousands of employees.
Clicks in Witbank closes its doors after store damage
The Saveways shopping centre in Witbank (Emahlaleni) underwent a huge amount of restoration work over the last year or so. As the finishing touches rejuvenated the dying shopping area, Clicks closed its doors after it was petrol-bombed on Monday morning. It came as the EFF mounted nationwide protests against the pharmacy, and vowed to close all their stores.
A car guard told us that the EFF protest in Witbank wasn’t huge. And, the damage doesn’t seem extensive. But, the fact that violence accompanies the protest doesn’t sit well with many people. Around the corner in the Checkers car park, a few people muttered about how jobs are hard these days, and now the employees might find themselves unemployed. And, it’s not their fault that the Head Office ran an advert.
Not much damage to Clicks, but an alarming message
Timeslive confirmed with the police that the incident in Witbank didn’t cause extensive damage. They noted, “there was minimal damage, with just a trolley catching fire.” Up at Highveld Mall, there’s another Clicks pharmacy. EFF members gathered in the car park. Additionally, other stores in the country see the EFF protesters refusing to leave until such time as they close.
Over on social media, many people reacted to the news with disapproval. Most of that comes to the fact that many jobs get potentially threatened by the protest action. At a time when many peoples struggle financially, the potential loss of jobs is a touchy subject with people of all colours and status. But later, news came from Yusuf Abramjee that another store, this time in Polokwane also got petrol bombed.
EFF blamed for inciting violence
One person and many others came to the same conclusion. They think the petrol bombing and violence came from the EFF hierarchy. They wrote, “Julius Malema incited violence and should be held responsible for this. He said attack and this is the direct result of it. They should all be charged. He and his hooligans.”
The country steams over politics right now. One person noted, “So let me get this straight. To protest an indefensible…Clicks ad, the EFF will put hardworking Clicks workers lives in danger, not to mention their jobs. And then ask them to vote for them in an election?”
Racism is an ugly thing. Everyone agrees with that. But, hurting the employees who rely on Clicks for their income also seems incomprehensible to some people. While many people cut their Clicks cards threatened to boycott the store, many others think that violence is anarchist and only makes things much worse. But, as many EFF supporters point out, only a Black person can really understand the full concept of racism.
But, another point that nobody really talks about is all those people who lodged their prescriptions with Clicks. Many people of all colours need the stores open to get their critical medication.
What are your thoughts? Is it right to punish the customers and employees because of a decision made by the board of directors at Clicks Head Office? Sound off in the comments below.