Protests by South Africans and Clicks’ racist hair advert are an expression of the undercurrent of racism faced by many in the country.
This is according to Congress of the People (Cope) national spokesperson Dennis Bloem, who says marches, racial insults and the petrol bombing of properties will not cease due to the evil of racism.
“It is very evident that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) failed in its objectives to achieve or to strive to true reconciliation and not artificial reconciliation, that process only plastered over long-standing deep painful wounds.”
“We think that we can wish racism away.”
This is an elusion, he maintains, as the best way to deal with racism was for the country to acknowledge that racism exists, “and [that] it is a problem in the country.”
“For as long as we don’t want to confront the demon of racism head-on, we will see continuous economic disruptions and protests. For as long as the Governing Party, the ANC, allows its senior members to call a section of society, the coloured community ‘Boesmans’ and approves of such derogatory language, then we must know we are very far from a solution.”
Bloem’s comments come as Clicks announced on Tuesday that it would replace American brand TRESemme products with locally-produced hair care products. Clicks said it would be engaging with all of their suppliers to enforce its code of conduct.
This after publishing an advert labelling black natural hair as”dry, damaged and frizzy”.
This was followed by massive uproar from many parties in the country, including the Economic Freedom Fighters who boycotted Clicks stores nationwide.
Although Clicks has confirmed that all employees responsible for publishing the advert were suspended, Bloem said the unreserved apology from the Clicks group CEO was unacceptable.
Cope demands that Tresemme and all those who are responsible for this hurt must come to the fore and apologise to African people, and contribute towards NGOs promoting reconciliation.
Bloem, however, cautioned against lawlessness, adding that government must oppose it wherever it reared its ugly head.
“Law and order is the cornerstone of any democracy.
“It is the democratic right of any citizen to stage peaceful protest within the law. We are very disappointed to learn that some Clicks stores were petrol bombed and others were thrashed by protesters. The Minister of Police must explain why the police have allowed lawlessness to take place and nobody been arrested for this thuggish behaviour.”
Meanwhile, Clicks said suspended staffers would now face a disciplinary hearing, adding that it was in the process of developing and expanding their local beauty market in partnership with government.