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We're investigating KZN guest house that turned black woman away - MEC

By Faeza
23 June 2016

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KwaZulu-Natal Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Sihle Zikalala on Thursday said he was investigating allegations that a guest house had denied accommodation to an African woman because of the colour of her skin.

News24 reported earlier that an email directed at a prospective client of Sodwana Bay Guest House in St Lucia, KwaZulu-Natal, had gone viral on social media, after a representative of the lodge refused the booking on racist grounds.

The email reads: "Hi. We do not accommodate black or government officials any longer."

It was signed Enki André M Slade, with the postscript, Proverbs 29:2, which reads, "when the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn".

The Star reportedly contacted the owner of the guest house. André Slate, and he confirmed the email was real.

News24 could not immediately reach Slate for comment.

Zikalala has instructed officials from the department to get to the bottom of the matter.

"We condemn the behaviour of the owner of the guest house in the strongest terms possible. Such behaviour, if true, is not only abhorrent, but it is has no place in the new South Africa we are all trying to build.

"In this regard, I have asked my officials to conduct a preliminary investigation into the matter to determine the veracity of the facts. This will, among other things, include contacting both the alleged perpetrator and the victim so that we can get the full story about what happened," Zikalala said.

He said the department had already contacted the local municipality to establish whether the business was operating legally in terms of the municipality’s business licencing regulations.

"We have also asked our officials to investigate whether the business is registered in terms of our own prevailing tourism legal prescripts.

"Tourism is one of the biggest sectors in our province which contributes billions of rands to the provincial economy. We cannot allow one individual to sully our reputational image as a tourism destination that is welcoming to all our people."

He said there was no place for racism in South Africa.

Source: News24