Virgin Active defends brand in racism row

2012-02-07 22:33
Johannesburg - Two complaints of racism at Virgin Active gyms in Johannesburg have been dealt with, Virgin Active SA said on Tuesday.

"I have taken personal responsibility to review the facts and whether any further course of action is required," managing director Ross Faragher-Thomas said in a statement.

"I am satisfied that Virgin Active SA dealt with the incident as expeditiously as possible, also recognising the seriousness of the altercation and the priority it deserved,"

On Tuesday, Independent Online reported that Lesley Mofokeng laid a criminal charge after he was insulted at Sunninghill Virgin Active, in northern Johannesburg.

A fellow gym member called Mofokeng a "boy" and accused him of "hogging the equipment".

Mofokeng said: "The guy came and started shouting and said, ‘You black guys take everything. We know this is your fucking country, but you do not have to control everything."

The Star newspaper reported on Monday that a patron of Virgin Active Morningside, in Sandton, was racially insulted by another patron during a spinning class on December 31.

Liz Hleza said the man appeared enraged because she shouted "yebo" in her enthusiasm for the music and the exercise.

"I was so scared and thought he was going to hit me, he was very angry. He said I should keep quiet and kept saying this bloody kaffir, you kaffir," Hleza said.

She said at the time she was dissatisfied with the gym's handling of the matter.

Faragher-Thomas said Virgin Active assigned four staff members to look into the complaints. The general manager was also involved in efforts to resolve the altercations.

The incident at the Morningside gym was being reinvestigated and he had spoken personally to Mofokeng about his experience.

"We always take appropriate action in the event of any member misconduct."

He said members had been suspended in the past for inappropriate conduct, and that the company had a zero tolerance approach to discrimination by its members.

Founder and chief executive of the Virgin group Richard Branson commented on the issue on Virgin Active SA's Facebook page, News24 reported.

"We do not condone any form of discrimination at Virgin - especially racism," he said.

He said Virgin was taking the complaints "extremely seriously".

"[We] intend to look at all the facts to reach the right outcome for all parties concerned," Branson wrote.
- SAPA
Read more on:    virgin active  |  richard branson  |  johannesburg  |  racism
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
190 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!

Find out who and what South Africans were most curious about in 2014!

 
 

I love summer.24

This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem
The world's least visited destination is breathtaking!
LOL treadmill fail!
Google’s top searches of 2014

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Any chance to explore the distant shores of things yet to be found will fascinate you. The challenge is dealing with the issues...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.