An EFF MP from the National Council of Provinces has appeared in court on Tuesday after he was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly assaulting a police officer during a protest at a Clicks store.
Kenny Motsamai, the MP, was released on R500 bail and must appear again in the Magistrate’s Court in Sebokeng, Gauteng, on Monday on charges of assault and resisting arrest, said Brig. National police spokesman Vish Naidoo said on Wednesday.
According to Naidoo, the incident took place in the Evaton area, north of Sebokeng.
The EFF has been protesting at Clicks stores since Monday over a shampoo advertisement that the store group published on its website and which provoked a racial uproar.
Several Clicks branches were vandalized in several provinces and at least two were bombed with petrol bombs, but the EFF denies that its members were involved. He maintains his protests are peaceful.
Police Minister Bheki Cele said in a statement on Wednesday that in addition to Motsamai, nine other people had been arrested in connection with the damage to property.
“The minister called on police members to continue to ensure the safety of customers, workers and property,” the statement said.
Although the ad should be condemned, according to Cele, he warned against malicious damage to property as part of the protests.
Clicks said in a statement on Tuesday that all its branches would be closed on Wednesday, among other things so that counseling could be given to its workers. The stores will reopen Thursday.
The store group, meanwhile, has unconditionally apologized for the ad, and suspended the employees involved pending a disciplinary hearing. All TRESemmé products have been removed from its shelves. The store group also accepted the resignation of a senior manager.
The EFF plans to protest at Clicks branches until Friday in an effort to force stores to keep their doors closed.
Clicks on Tuesday obtained an interim interdict from the Johannesburg High Court banning EFF members from intimidating customers and staff, damaging property or inciting violence at Clicks stores.
However, the party may still protest peacefully.