E-commerce company Amazon has come under scrutiny for the sale of hats, jackets and other products with the old South African flag printed on them.
The flag was in use from 1928 to 1994 and was used by the Union of South Africa and its successor state, the Republic of South Africa until 1994.
The products were seen on Amazon UK’s website, with some Twitter users filing complaints and calling on the company to remove the items.
“So I was looking for buffs with an SA flag print, using ‘South Africa flag bandana’ and the racist old flag was sitting as options. There is no report function on the product. @Amazon can you please do something about this hate speech, I’m disgusted,” one Twitter said.
There’s quite a lot more products on the UK store as well. pic.twitter.com/RVJge5hXAs
— ???? Free ???? (@tshepo87) October 28, 2020
Meanwhile, Amazon’s Help and Customer Service responded that it was “unable to locate the products” after the person who posted the screenshots of the items made an attempt to launch an enquiry .
“We’re unable to locate these products on Amazon.com. If you could please provide the ASINs for the products, we’d be happy to look into this,” Amazon said.
We’re unable to locate these products on Amazon .com. If you could please provide the ASIN’s for the products, we’d be happy to look into this. ^DM
— Amazon Help (@AmazonHelp) October 28, 2020
In 2019, the South African Equality Court partially banned the flag with the judges arguing it could be seen as “representative of apartheid” and remained divisive.
It was ruled the flag display could fairly be seen as a message propagating hatred and hurtfulness and therefore constituted hate speech.
However, the court also ruled that academic work, reporting in the public interest and works of art on the flag could be viewed differently.
See other reactions below:
I’d love to meet the buyers, dis genoeg nou.
— I’m HER????️????????????????????????????️???? (@menge_mpho) October 28, 2020
This is like have the swastika symbol on a piece of clothing. And I know for a fact Amazon wouldn’t allow it or even have people displaying it on their site. @amazon please do something about this.
— Xicor ➐ (@DON_PAPICHUL0) October 29, 2020
Unacceptable ???????? how does this even happen???
— ???????? #maskedmaiden???? (@purpledragonlil) October 29, 2020
Amazon was unreachable for comment by the time of publication.