La-la Lulu’s lower-class k-word rant

2012-04-01 07:34

Not even the k-word can get you bumped from economy into business class if business class is full. This was the hard lesson Lulu Xingwana, the minister of women, children and people with disabilities, learnt when she boarded an SAA flight from Accra, Ghana, back to Joburg on Thursday night.

A businessperson, who did not wish to be named, said he saw Xingwana get into the plane shouting “shut up, shut up, is it because I am a k****r?” to a (white) air hostess, whose name is known to City Press. Xingwana requested to be seated in business class, but had an economy-class ticket.

As the air hostess tried to reason with her, Xingwana could be overheard saying: “But I am a shareholder of this company.”

Xingwana ignored requests by the air hostess, who looked fairly shaken at this point, to have her handbag stowed in the overhead compartment.

“The minister was like a naughty child. She snatched the bag and put it on her lap with her arms around it,” the passenger said. “I was shocked and embarrassed. This was a national minister.”

SAA spokesperson Dileseng Koetle responded: “SAA has apologised to the minister that it wasn’t possible to seat her in business class.” Xingwana is a platinum card
member of SAA’s frequent-flier programme, which entitles her to an upgrade to business class on an economy-class ticket.

Xingwana denied she shouted at anyone, used the k-word or said anything related to SAA shareholders. She said she politely asked for an upgrade but “was shocked by the rude and disrespectful attitude”.

Xingwana told Parliament in November she couldn’t fly “la-la class” for health reasons after she was questioned why she flew business class on overseas trips.

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