Protesters attack South African H&M stores over `racist` ad

EFF members occupying an H&M store in Sandton

Angry protesters in South Africa targeted H&M stores on Saturday over a "racist" advertisement on the clothing company's website.

H&M has faced an global backlash this week over an online advert which featured a black child wearing a hoodie reading "coolest monkey in the jungle". It has been withdrawn following accusations of racism.

On Saturday, EFF supporters trashed stores in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town in response to the online ad.

Video shows protesters tearing down shop displays and throwing clothes around.

H&M has since since temporarily closed their stores in South Africa "out of concern for the safety of their employees".

According to South African reporters for the Daily Mail, shoppers and bystanders were forced to evacuate as chanting mobs wearing red uniforms belonging to South Africa's radical opposition party swept through the retail stores.

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

"No one should make jokes about the dignity of black people and be left unattended to", Malema said.

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"I can't allow for my name and brand to be associated with a company that could let this happen", the musician said.

"The time of apologies for racism is over; there must be consequences to anti-black racism, period!"

Police said they were monitoring the protests, but that they had made no arrests so far.

The group's leader, Julius Sello Malema, also shared images of the destruction and comments accusing H&M of racism.

'No damages were caused outside of the store'.

H&M has since apologized for and removed the ad. "EFF's message was loud and effective but went against what should be happening which is discussions", one Twitter user wrote.

But many have already pledged to boycott the store, as The Weekend - a Canadian R'n'B star who produced menswear collections with the chain - said he was cutting ties with the company.