Richard Branson weighs in on Virgin racist attack

2012-02-07 16:09

Cape Town – An incident of racism at the Morningside Virgin Active gym has become such a hot topic, that CEO of the entire Virgin group, Richard Branson has weighed in.

Branson left a note on Virgin Active SA’s Facebook page on Tuesday, saying: “We do not condone any form of discrimination at Virgin - especially racism.

“We are taking this incident extremely seriously and intend to look at all the facts to reach the right outcome for all parties concerned.”

Branson said that Ross Faragher-Thomas, Virgin Active South Africa’s managing director, was personally investigating the matter and was “meeting the two members... to make sure we look at the facts and are fair to everyone who is involved”.

The incident referred to involves Liz Hleza, 51, who says she was called a "bloody kaffir, a cockroach and a selfish bitch" by a man in her spinning class on December 31 after she continuously shouted "yebo" to the music and exercise at the gym.

“I have been to South Africa on many occasions and been inspired by the many wonderful people I have met there. As Jonathan Jansen said: ‘My South Africa is…often unseen, yet powered by the remarkable lives of ordinary people. It is the citizens who keep the country together through millions of acts of daily kindness,’” Branson said.

“We intend to get to the bottom of this incident and I want to repeat that we will not tolerate any form of prejudice.”


Virgin Active members reacted angrily on Twitter and Facebook, calling for the company to "do the right thing", after the offending member received a "final warning".

Hleza recounted how she thought that the man was going to hit her as he was "very angry".

"He said I should keep quiet and kept saying this bloody kaffir, you kaffir. He was pointing fingers at me. He said bloody cunt and that I was a selfish bitch.

"He also told me that I was born walking on four legs with a tail, and I should go back to the bushes where I belong and make that noise there.

After the class, Hleza went to the manager on duty to complain and when that manager called the man and his friend to her office, they refused to go.

The man, she said, swore at her again. "He said 'You bloody kaffir, you are a cockroach and next time I come to the gym I will bring Doom to spray you with'."

The woman was reportedly unhappy with the way Virgin's management handled the situation.

  • Stan - 2012-02-07 16:12

    I just don't like racists, black or white. They annoy me to the core!!

      procold2 - 2012-02-07 16:29

      me to stan if true a bad incident, let the facts come out first ther is two sides to a story

      Willie - 2012-02-07 16:29

      Only adults can behave in this way,what are teaching our children.This spat could have been solved chop!! chop!!!! by the two adults hell!!!!

      lebo.lathane - 2012-02-07 16:31


      Max - 2012-02-07 16:56

      Screaming Yebo ....Maybe the seat came off the bike.....

      Jou - 2012-02-07 16:57

      That Doom comment finished me. I collapsed ;-))

      Trevor - 2012-02-07 17:04

      Ja PRO same old same old. SHAME

      BobM6389 - 2012-02-07 17:09

      @proafrikaans We should all remember that two wrongs dont make a right.

      rosiegracebrooks - 2012-02-07 17:10

      Yeah, his outburst was a disgrace.

      John - 2012-02-07 17:44

      I'm sorry you guys see the bleak side. I think it was hilarious !!!!! we really need to look at ourselves and laugh a bit. We have become far too serious. In my mind I could picture the event unfolding - with the lady yelling "YEBO", like a Leon Schuster movie - LOL. On second thoughts....have you not checked your sources, maybe this is a big Leon Schuster hoax lolololol

      Felix - 2012-02-07 17:45

      proafrikaans, you didn't think hard enough before posting your question. Farm murders are absolutely appauling, disgusting events (as is any murder), i agree. But they have nothing to do with Mr Branson, or any other famous person that ISN'T South African, that doesn't own a farm in South Africa! The only reason he spoke out was because HIS, and ONLY HIS business is being negatively seen in the media. The reason it's become an international incident is because Virgin is an international brand! Do you think they have the time to worry about what happens in every other country that has no effect on their lives? No, they don't. Direct your anger at South African law enforcement, and not every other international celebrities.

      modmario - 2012-02-07 17:46

      Wrong type of release at the gym buddy!!!! And what typ of a man does spinning? I mean really, doll, must neva throw her toys at the gym. Gives the Queens a bad name!!! Or maybe he just wants to get out of his gym contract...

      neill.hurford - 2012-02-07 17:49

      so racists annoy you, Stan? so what's your stand on murder and rape? vexed irritation?

      John - 2012-02-07 18:01

      He probably had a hard day at work - and her yelling "YEBO" would have pi..d off most people. So he swore at her, and apologized afterwards - so freaking what. He never laid a hand on her. Now, if he beat her up - that would be a different matter. Come on people, nobody was hurt, surely we can laugh at ourselves and move on

      Ali - 2012-02-07 18:09

      Yes racism is a big NO, it's very wrong and stupid. But also it is very impolite to yell yebo! to the music all the time in a gym.. There's people around you who might not like your yebo shouting. A "would you mind please not to yell yebo all the time" would have been the right way.

      John - 2012-02-07 18:53

      the Question is, what would happen in the UK if some person kept shouting Yes Yes Yes Yes YEs Yes in a Virgin Gym?

      yolie.Landa - 2012-02-08 08:44

      LOL John, I think this woman was high from smoking socks.... But one gets motivation from shouting... I used to do it with my friends when there are hot guys at the gym...LOL.

      JohnRambo1723 - 2012-02-08 14:23

      Call me a hypocrite, but everything that man supposedly said seems a bit hectic for 2012. I'm not for racism, but I'm also against people playing the racism card whenever it suits them. Did this man really say all these things? In my opinion, you need to be mentally retarded to say those types of things without worrying about repercussions. Is this man mentally retarded or challenged? Anyone who watches / reads the news knows that the white man can't even call a black man black without being a racist, so why would someone go for such an overkill? Something smells fishy to me, and it's not my feet.

      Warren - 2012-02-08 22:19

      @ Ali: I used to politely ask my previous neighbour if he would mind turning his car stereo down from full volume, at 6am every other Sunday morning (yes, full ball at 6am on a Sun.) when he washed it. Eventually I moved because I was tired of being told I'm an unreasonable racist.

      George - 2012-02-12 22:45

      What is a racist? You have learned to hate them. Have you learned to define them? Irrational hate is a danger to society.

      Sipho - 2012-02-13 20:55

      Perhaps we should find out from Branson how many black people he employs at Virgin Atlantic ...

  • George - 2012-02-07 16:15

    yada yada yada.............

      rbczovczov - 2012-02-07 21:57

      It is people like these that make people like Malema and Mugabe necessary and relevant. I dont mind facing racism in Europe or America because its not my home, but facing racism here in Africa as well is something i will not personally take lying down.

      Fidel - 2012-02-08 02:23

      Hear, hear......

      Peter - 2012-02-08 06:26

      People like this react the way they do because of Malema and what he encourages. Black people sing songs calling for the killing of my people, and you wonder why white people are a bit tense? It seems this woman was very selfish, and the guy cracked. We're all on the verge of cracking, by the constant barrage of black on white racism we receive daily. It has made most of us more racist than we ever were in the past. A tactic the ANC has used, and achieved very successfully. One day it is going to backfire on all of us - including you...

      rbczovczov - 2012-02-08 12:21

      @Peter - please we are all stressed, black and white. I am not condoning the yelling of the lady, heck even if I was in that gym too at that time I would have probably told her to shut up. But this guy chose to racially abuse her instead of just telling her to shut the hell up without any reference to her race. There was no need or justification whatsoever to bring race into this. We have idiots and morons on both races, deal with it.

      Leon - 2012-02-08 12:27

      @ pETER- Too bad I can only like your comment once.

      brendonml - 2012-02-08 12:28

      @ rbc, I think the whole incident is actually pretty hilarious. If people didnt identify with their colour of their skins so much, these things become laughable. Yebo!

      rbczovczov - 2012-02-08 16:00

      @brendonml - yes things are always hilarious when they are not directed at you. Just like the heterosexuals find gay jokes funny or how the thin people find the fat jokes funny.

      brendonml - 2012-02-08 16:28

      oh everyone, get over yourselves, we are people, we make mistakes, shake on it, and move on, and dont forget to smile!

      brendonml - 2012-02-08 16:35

      more hilarious is the fact, that white people get so upset with this, even more than the black people! and the only reason is you feel embarressed! You feel its a reflection on your identity in which you identify yourself with a particular race. Remove the log out of your eye.......

  • Tshifhiwa - 2012-02-07 16:15

    And i am told the man is one of the most respected lawyer. i wonder if people will still respect him after this, he should be ashamed of himself.

      jeremy002 - 2012-02-07 16:39

      The lady concerned should make a civil case against the man and his friend. They are in very deep trouble, as are their careers - finished.

      Boeretroos - 2012-02-07 16:54

      As you all realize a case always has two sides - for and against, true or false - why and why not etc etc ? Mr Branson says that they look into it very seriously ??? - Now the seriousness - is it the woman continuously yelling YEBO at the top of her lungs ?- or the guy who got so fed up with her act he lost control and raged out at her? It could have been a case where this african woman was extremely rowdy and loud, causing extreme irritation to another gym person who had paid to make use of the gym and not to listen to extreme vocal contortions of another person ? Now of course - knowing the counter reaction of most blacks being asked to keep it down - the rebel and discontent came forth resulting in grabing of the race card. Methinks that everyone mentioned protests too much - Another huge crime against all humanity and Africa has been committed ! This is a case of provocation and vulgar derogatory language being used -name calling not racism. So - ag Shame man. Grow up Africa !

      AyGeewils - 2012-02-07 17:48

      whoever he is - he's a complete idiot - what did he gain from this? Come on folk we don't need these people in our society - it's no different to rape in my view, speaking to a fellow South African like that - shame on him!

      Trevor - 2012-02-07 17:49

      Ok, so you found the guy guilty already, not even VA have the facts yet you do????? Think.......

      Kim - 2012-02-07 18:08

      No person black, white or any colour deserves to be spoken to in a degrading manner. People lack respect today

      Azande - 2012-02-07 19:01

      @boeretroos, have u ever been in a cycling class. if u had been, u will know that very loud music and screaming is common and by the way "normal". @Xenswim1, i guess u dont believe it hey?

      Ken - 2012-02-07 20:26

      Do you know a " respected " lawyer ?

      Merven - 2012-02-08 07:51

      @Azande, maybe in the townships, but shouting does not happen, not where I gym.

      Irma - 2012-02-08 15:21

      I'm interested to hear his side... I DOUBT a lawyer would behave in this manner- he would know the legal consequences. He probably did get angry, probably did say a few words, but to carry on like this?

      Warren - 2012-02-08 21:56

      @ Boeretroos: There are actually three sides to every story... His story... Her story... And the TRUTH!!!

  • Deirdre - 2012-02-07 16:17

    If memory serves the previous article mentioned that there was an apology made, and accepted ... While I don't condone racism I don't see why this has become an issue, and I suspect someone is now looking for a freebie.

      Jerolan - 2012-02-07 16:45

      The apology referred to was the instructor to the alleged victim on him not hearing the alleged insults. The man refused to apologise to the lady.

      Andrew - 2012-02-07 17:16

      Why if this incident took place in December is it only now come to light? Is there perhaps an ulterior motive?

      Vaal-Donkie - 2012-02-07 18:27

      Yes, the "lady" realised she could get money and 15 minutes of fame. Probably even an interview with Oprah (or Noeleen).

      Vaal-Donkie - 2012-02-07 19:36

      Oh get over yourself.

  • Noel - 2012-02-07 16:18

    The appropriate action to take would be to expel the offending members. They are in breach of the gym's rules and code of conduct which would surely be in the contract that they signed when they joined.

      sean.brebnor - 2012-02-07 17:31

      Both of them, agreed.

  • Jou - 2012-02-07 16:19

    I nearly collaped with laughter. Bring Doom.....looooooooool!!!! He certainly has a way with words.

      Claire - 2012-02-07 16:28

      @ joumaseperd... go practice your spelling and stop talking a load of crap!!! If you have nothing good to say shut the hell up...

      Lorenzo - 2012-02-07 16:53

      I’m just imagining her shouting “yebo” at the music while spinning… hahahaa! Funny.

      Jou - 2012-02-07 17:08

      Trying to imagine a mama spinning. That is almost unbelievable in itself. :-))

      sean.brebnor - 2012-02-07 17:30

      Claire, "practice" is a noun. We use UK English in this country, not American. Go practise your grammar...

      JohhnyBGood - 2012-02-07 17:46

      @sean.brebnor, ai dude. You keeeellll me. Now again I have to pick myself up from the floor. The peoples are tooo shap 4 me.

      rbczovczov - 2012-02-08 12:28

      Only an inbred retard would find humour in a racial slur. The lady was out of line by yelling 'Yello" but the douchebag did not have to bring race in reprimanding her. You must remember and appreciate that we have idiots and morons on both races - black and white. Idiocy knows no race.

  • Boere - 2012-02-07 16:19

    She's lying.

      Tammy - 2012-02-07 16:31

      and you know this how?

      Narike - 2012-02-07 16:33

      @claire: sadly there's no traffic on the farm

      Jou - 2012-02-07 17:09

      Just watch out for rogue bicycles.

      Douglas - 2012-02-07 19:09

      @ Claire you sound like a stuck up idiot

      Merven - 2012-02-08 07:54

      @Tammy, from radio 702.

      rbczovczov - 2012-02-08 16:08

      I would like to challenge him and anyone else who supports him, to try that kind of racists behaviour on me. The day anyone racially abuses me will be their last on this planet. It may take one week, one month or even one year, but I will get back at you. Thats not a threat, its a guaranteed promise. Normally I am not a violent person unless my hand is forced.

  • Guy - 2012-02-07 16:19

    I'm not a racist - I'll race anybody!! :-))

      rbczovczov - 2012-02-08 12:29

      God created races and man created racism.

  • Frank - 2012-02-07 16:22

    I agree with Richard; lets get the facts on the table first. The man's alleged racist rant seems excessive, perhaps this story is being blown out of proportion. But if what Liz says is true it is a very despicable incident indeed.

      ivan.coetzee2 - 2012-02-07 16:54

      That would be totally unusual for News24 to blow anything out of proportion, quite absurd to even suggest it! NOT!!!!!

  • E=MC2 - 2012-02-07 16:22

    LOL! wow, that's pretty harsh by anyones terms :D Can i ask why she "continuously shouted" yebo? Perhaps looking to cause an argument?? im just saying...

      ivan.coetzee2 - 2012-02-07 16:57

      You may have a point there?? It may just have irked this oke to the enth degree. That being the case, I am sure that if she stopped and had not provoked the situation none of us would be commenting here. Just a thought.....

      robqb - 2012-02-07 17:35

      If "he" got annoyed with her shouting in the gym why didn't "he" complain to the manager about her. Who or what gave him the right to reprimand her?

  • Marc - 2012-02-07 16:23

    Oh, boo hoo! Until Branson comes to SA again and is called a "f**ken pommie" or the like. Has he seen some of the anti-English comments from some of our black folk about HM Queen Elizabeth's 60 year celebrations yesterday? The guy apologised and she accepted - what more do they want?

      Xolisa - 2012-02-07 16:36

      marc, wat do u mean "wat do dey wnt" who r u?

      Vicker - 2012-02-08 13:02

      @Xolisa: How on earth did you get through school with spelling and grammar like that??? AA matriculant are you???

  • cheryl.kristiansen - 2012-02-07 16:24

    a guy in the same spinning class phoned in to 702 and said the "K" word was never used and in fact, she had tried to provoke him into saying it. Hhhmmm, seems there are at least 3 sides to this story!

      colin.dovey - 2012-02-07 16:41

      Yes Cheryl I heard the same listener who called in - he said that: 1. The woman concerned was "spinning" in the class, and was giving out a very loud "yip" noise, and then intensified this to what sounded like a scream. 2. He went across to her, and asked her to tone it down, calling her a "cockroach" - the witness maintains that the man never used the "K" word at any stage. 3. She apparently then escalated the matter, and began telling people that he had been a racist. She then, according to the caller, went to the Manager, and said that she had been racially abused. Make your own conclusions. There are some VERY offensive people in Gyms, who display obnoxious behavior - the spinning classes are one of the places to observe some nasty people from both sides of the racial divide, and racial abuse only serves to diminish the people concerned, but also the management of ALL Gyms - it has been allowed to get out of hand, and because it is such a sensitive area, it neds to be dealt with URGENTLY.

      Randall - 2012-02-07 16:41

      how the hell do you provoke someone into using the "k" word? is that the same way darren scott was provoked?

      sjmanthey - 2012-02-07 16:44

      why does she have to shout "yebo"? how irritating...would have been better if the man had kicked her into the Virgin pool.

      ivan.coetzee2 - 2012-02-07 16:58

      Well there you go, that would do it!!!

      Trevor - 2012-02-07 17:55

      I said the same thing, something does not add up YET, true to form the general South African know it all public jumps on the bandwagon and claims the man to be a racist....this is one of the reasons why SA is screwd, people pre-judging and others using race to bully I call anyone a racist, who's more likely to be believed, a black person or a white person...pathetic that we can't get past this...

      Merven - 2012-02-08 07:57

      Let my guess lacoste.mokwena, the World Trade Centre attack was staged and the world is run by 7 white guys?

  • logical007 - 2012-02-07 16:25

    Heard this lady on 702 - her story sounds totally exaggerated. If she was getting 'excited' and shouting YEBO, YEBO, in a spinning class with very loud music- This would be VERY IRRITATING in any gym class. Her story is that she heard this man calling her racist names above the music? - yet no-one else in the class let alone the instructor did anything or said anything? One witness did phone in on 702 to say that the man did not make any racist comments during the class? And then after this lady and man do have a meeting sort this issue out, this lady continues the 'problem' as she demands an apology in front of the spinning class??? PLEASE is this woman in nursery school????

      ivan.coetzee2 - 2012-02-07 17:02

      Sounds like she was having a "real moment", shouting YEBO the whole time. I think she is making a meal of this and hoping to get some mileage out of it!!

      Aking - 2012-02-08 17:23

      Whether this was indeed a racist incident or not, I am also concerned with the lack of eye witnesses. The comments that the man apparently made is so over the top. I have never heard even the biggest racist make comments like "you had four legs and a tail" and "i will spray you with doom". It just sounds slightly exagerated in my view. However, I understand that people get angry at the gym. people are too rushed and stressed these days and I have seen some nasty fights broke out, especially in the spinning class!

  • Vicker - 2012-02-07 16:25

    And everyone just blindly accepts her word for it that this is what was said? Quite frankly, if she had been shouting "Yebo" the whole time, why was she not told by management to shut up and consider others around her?

      Rich - 2012-02-07 16:42

      Perhaps there was something nice on her seat ??

      Randall - 2012-02-07 16:57

      you sound like the typical stuck up douche who gets bummed when fans cheer and make a racket at a sports event. spinning should be fairly high intensity and some people shout or scream to release a bit of pressure, just like tennis players do when they strike the ball. i dont do it myself but cant really be bothered if others do it around me. so in summary if you dont like it stay at home where you need not be bothered by anyone at all.

      Randall - 2012-02-08 08:23

      @douglas and you sound like your vocabulary greatly benefited from all the years of silverspoon education. good job.

      Warren - 2012-02-08 23:02

      @ Vicker: If management steps in, Black customers will accuse them of being a racist, Indian customers will complain to head office (usually throwing in a good few exaggerations), coloured customers will tell you "nou's jhy nie lekka in die kop nie my bru" & beware your soul if it is a White customer, if you're not quick enough you WILL get F**ked up (be it male or female).

  • Colourless - 2012-02-07 16:25

    That's so nasty, I am laughing solely from the shock of the meanness of the person that said that. SIES!!!

      E=MC2 - 2012-02-07 16:27

      lol that was very tasteless of him colourless

      Colourless - 2012-02-07 16:43

      Yes, it was, but it was funny, I cannot believe that some one has such hate.

      ivan.coetzee2 - 2012-02-07 17:04

      Starting to sound more and more like she provoked him!!

  • Karring - 2012-02-07 16:26

    i was there when this happened, it is all true, the guy was a total @ss hole. didnt wanna say anything though, was scared the guy wil moer me.....

      Dhavandran - 2012-02-07 16:55

      he should have spoken to the instructor about the irritating 'yebo' from this lady.if have read correctly,someone mentioned that he is a lawyer, now please,he should know better about confrontation than anyone else.he still had know reason to get racialistic.he did not use the right channels to sort out the problem,he is guilty as charged.

      Mike - 2012-02-07 18:00

      Was the lady screaming Karring? You would know that because you were there. If she wasn't then the man's behaviour is disgusting. If she was, he still didn't handle it the right way and shouldn't have used racist and offensive language. He should have asked her politely to tone it down and if she refused he should have reported it to management.

      Petro - 2012-02-07 21:49

      bang gat!

      Sipho - 2012-02-08 04:28

      karring, u is such a funny troll wif yur fake stories and id. i was there, i saw nothing - except a baby crying in the korner - maybe it was u?

      Merven - 2012-02-08 08:01

      Lol, cool one Shipho.

  • lovellt - 2012-02-07 16:26

    She probably provoked and antagonised him, people won't just start throwing around racist remarks if they aren't deserved. Having said that, racism has no place in society and the accused should think of what he says before commiting to a comment.

      Lynn Truter - 2012-02-07 16:59 one DESERVES a racist remark, no matter what. In spinning classes all over SA, people are noisy. So if he wanted a peaceful, reserved session, he should cycle on a normal bike in the gym. Not in a spinning class. People needs any little excuse to bring out the racism out in them and its disgusting

      Jason - 2012-02-07 17:38

      oh please, FAIL

  • Conrad - 2012-02-07 16:29

    Sad, very, very sad! When will we grow up?

  • Tammy - 2012-02-07 16:29

    Sies man!!!!

  • mulalo.manyatshe - 2012-02-07 16:29

    It is almost impossible to apologise for something like this. It is not only the victim that has been hurt, but almost everyone who belongs to the black-african community in the Republic of South Africa. This may easily amount to more than 30 million people. It it can be proven, Virgin Active must just do the right thing and prove that they do not take blacks for granted, othwerwise I will suspend my membership. We busy re-building and then out of blue come this kind of an idiot.

      Dieter - 2012-02-07 16:33

      great idea mulalo! now to get your friends to stop attacking farmers!

      modumo - 2012-02-07 16:39

      @dieter...I think u need to go play in traffic a little

      Willie - 2012-02-07 16:41

      @ Dieter -What has this got to do with farmers ,stick to the current debate.

      Barker - 2012-02-07 16:49

      Not only black-african community in the Republic of South Africa. All civil people regardless of race, religion or sexual preference.

      David - 2012-02-07 17:15

      anybody looking for a kettle as the pot is getting lonely.... I hope you make such comments when Malema and others are keen to shoot white folk..or is it ok to threaten whites since then only 4 million are affected.. Over all if it happened the way it reads then the guy is an idiot but quite frankly so is the woman for being antagonistic.

      Jymiro - 2012-02-07 17:16

      I agree Barker. This is an insult to all civil South Africans, malulo don't bring another race issue

      modumo - 2012-02-07 17:22

      @Everyone who gave me thumbs down, this has nothing to do with farmers and so on, this is about racism and how that poor old lady who was trying to keep fit in her elderly state was verbally abused. and if Dieter is going to make a big whoha about farm murders, then we can bring up day to day murders, economic and cultural murder, constant and apparent oppression layered under a facade tolerance whilst enjoy the fruits and land of our fore fathers who were killed and had land taken from them forceully. In essence stick to the story, dont go bring up ur own issues where they are not needed just to brew tension in all the commentary.

      David - 2012-02-07 17:35

      Just to let you know, the only for fathers that were ever taken out in a land grabbing way were the San, the rest were only encountered in the Eastern Cape for the first time, this was due to them running from the Zulu who weere killing and wiping out all that they encountered while please lets not get into colonizing issues as every race has done it and tried to do it, the white race were better since they had real weapons.. so the Apartheid years land was taken and that was not right, but back pre 1900's the world was fair game and the weak died out s everyone was after land. Imagine if the Chinese did not go home when the Forbidden city burnt down in the 15th century, they would have colonized the world completely. Bottom line is Apartheid was wrong, and colonization took place, still is taking place, but now with money, or of course still brutally in Africa.

      Petro - 2012-02-07 21:57

      @Mulalo.Manyatshe - I discussed this joke with my gardener today!!! His reply was "but we are black - have allways been - what does that woman want to be called". I was amaized by his remarks - but then he knows he has been looked after for the last 22 yrs by my family and not the person he voted for....makes you think mate. I am a whitey and you can call me that - I promise I will not demand an apology from you...

      dewald.galjaard - 2012-02-08 11:28

      @ mulalo: lol @ re-building! priceless. @modumo : "then we can bring up day to day murders, economic and cultural murder, constant and apparent oppression layered under a facade tolerance whilst enjoy the fruits and land of our fore fathers who were killed" Are you talking about current South Africa and ANC?

  • Willem - 2012-02-07 16:30

    White Trash

      Willie - 2012-02-07 16:42

      Why white trash please stop polirising us

      Ken - 2012-02-07 20:40

      I think that Willem may be the actual traitor trash.

  • Pixie86 - 2012-02-07 16:32

    i would be annoyed if someone kept shouting yebo next to me too, but i would not start cussing them the way this bloke did. We're human beings. It's time we started acting like it and not animals. This man needs help. Yebo!

      TaniaSandraSteyn - 2012-02-07 19:08

      I don't know what worse: being called the 'c'-word or 'k'-word. I would have given him a klap if he spoke to me like that.

      Merven - 2012-02-08 08:02

      Yes Tania, but according to the witnesses he never used the K word.

      richard.hipkin - 2012-02-08 09:17

      @Mervyn - witness, not witnesses. No one else has come forward except one guy who phoned 702...

      Rohin - 2012-02-08 13:13

      yeah, I can't help but wonder why the other people in the class didn't bother to do or say anything.

  • Kerry - 2012-02-07 16:33

    51 and spinning - and shouting yebo - you go girl!

      Ndinike - 2012-02-07 16:43

      Lol! Yebo!

      richard.hipkin - 2012-02-08 09:17

      Nice! :)

  • Gavin - 2012-02-07 16:34

    O please.. this is being blown way out of proportion and is not a racial issue. If people obey the rules of the club by not hogging equipment there will not be issues like this... Black, White, Coloured, Indian, Whatever, if you hog a machine for over 30minutes you are the inconsiderate one and they cannot say that if someone is complaining about them it's a racial issue - it's not, it's because they have disrespect for other members. And as for that other woman shouting out YEBO each time, same thing... have respect for other members.. it is not racial, it boils down to respecting the members around you and the rules and regulations of the club!

      jowza1 - 2012-02-07 16:40

      dont make up your own stories gavin,leave that to news24

      Rohin - 2012-02-09 16:44

      shouting yebo or hogging a machine at the gym is not a racial issue, true. Calling someone out for doing so by (allegedly) throwing racial slurs around is.

  • Kilroy - 2012-02-07 16:39

    We have to learn to be tolerant. Please use odourless doom

  • Olivia - 2012-02-07 16:40

    Geeeees enough already of the same s#$t over and over!

  • Luke - 2012-02-07 16:41

    Looks like this guy is going to lose his "Virginity" when this is all over

      David - 2012-02-07 17:18

      try and buy his membership for a bargain price....

  • Barker - 2012-02-07 16:43

    I'm not a racist, I just hate cats. Woof!!

  • elsabe.wessels1 - 2012-02-07 16:44

    Even more impressed with Richard Branson now. Good to know that some CEOs actually take situations like these seriously. Afterall, we all want a better country. You go, RB!

  • steynbeyers - 2012-02-07 16:44

    Oh so this happened in Jhb? Not rasist Cape Town? And I thought only Cape Town was rasist! yebo?

      Luke - 2012-02-07 16:46

      dude... now everyone is going to think we dont know how to spall in CPT ;)

      Barker - 2012-02-07 16:53

      @Luke. Talk of the pot calling the kettle black. How do you spall (sic) in Cape Town?

      Luke - 2012-02-07 16:56

      @Barker, astute observation there bud. the irony was intentional :)

      Robbie - 2012-02-07 17:01

      Wake up Barker

      willa.vanrooyen - 2012-02-07 17:11

      Yebo Broer Steyn, in Jhb of all places? We should all learn to be tolerant - but I must admit I don't like people yelling or screaming anywhere.A little respect goes a long way!!!!

      dewald.galjaard - 2012-02-08 11:31

      no cape town only kill gays.

  • Julie - 2012-02-07 16:44

    There is always two sides to any story!

      Robbie - 2012-02-07 17:03

      There is always three sides to every story. My Side,her Side and the truth.

  • neil.hamman - 2012-02-07 16:45

    Get rid of him. ditto

  • Meg Hendry - 2012-02-07 16:45

    Omg this is disgusting!!!!!

  • Santapola - 2012-02-07 16:47

    I wish that pink did that to me yeah...jerrrrrrrrr...

      sean.brebnor - 2012-02-07 17:09

      "...that pink...?" Who's being racist now? The pot calling the kettle black, I see.

      David - 2012-02-07 17:20

      Your comment is naturally ok I guess since you are black and black can't be racist....

  • desmond.leaner - 2012-02-07 16:48

    Who the hell wrote this story? Why does it sound as if the lady cannot speak proper English? "Hleza recounted how she thought that the man was going to hit her as he was "very angry"". It rather sounds like whoever wrote this wanted to make fun of Liz? This is a very serious matter. I would equate it to a farm-killing!

      Charlie - 2012-02-07 17:01

      Equate it to a farm killing?? Actually taking a life? You really are a grade one plonker!

      John - 2012-02-07 18:39

      The same as murder ??? a few words said in haste ? you are a real idiot desmond

  • Thoka - 2012-02-07 16:50

    THIS UNLESHES THE MONSTER INSIDE ME, You call me that you gonna go back to the nasty hole you came from will make sure of that. You pr!!k

  • Phoenix - 2012-02-07 16:50

    This man must not only be expelled from virgin active, rather we should deport him to his country of orgin, South Africans cannot cover up for these racists .... its time to kick them out !!

      ThandaMzansi - 2012-02-07 17:41

      You do understand that there are millions of white South Africans too, right? And that their country of origin IS South Africa?

      Charmaine Paterson - 2012-02-07 20:07

      And you do realise that by saying this, you are being racist as well? I am an African, my skin colour is immaterial, I was born in Africa.

      ThandaMzansi - 2012-02-07 21:13

      Not to mention Phoenix, that as a radio station based in Durban, in a predominantly Indian community, the majority of your listeners are a part of the Indian diaspora. Should they ALSO be sent back to the country THEY came from? the process, for future reference is as follows: FIRST think, then speak. Solves a LOT of problems.

  • Anton1981 - 2012-02-07 16:52

    I hate racism too, but i bloody DETEST people who sing or humm, or shout selfishly in public places!!

      Jymiro - 2012-02-07 16:55

      Its called cultural tolerance, unity in diversity.

      Douglas - 2012-02-07 19:20

      @ Jymiro - you are an uncultured f-tard

      Merven - 2012-02-08 08:06

      No Jymiro, it is called gym etiquette.

      Vicker - 2012-02-09 10:01

      Bullsh1t Jymiro - its called plain common decency and acting civilised...

  • Rodney - 2012-02-07 16:54

    Only ppl with low iq levels resort to name calling ai..

  • Yazied - 2012-02-07 16:54

    Procold 2. There can be no two sides to THIS story. The utterences are unwelcome and not needed in our society. This country was not liberated by bigots. Name and shame him.

      Shirley - 2012-02-07 18:26

      When its been PROVED beyond a shadow of a doubt!

  • Susan - 2012-02-07 16:54

    this is truely discussting, maybe the women should take doom and spray it in his mouth!!!that should teach him a lesson!!!

  • Rodney - 2012-02-07 16:55

    the idiot photo must be put up as an examble there is never a reason to racially abuse someone

  • Allan - 2012-02-07 16:55

    Not too long ago, A taxi pulled across 3 lanes and stopped dead in front of me, I was angry and got out to speak with him in a cordial manner , just for him to aknowledge his error and apologies. He turned around and shoved his finger up my nostril and called me a f... white cockroach. I did him spme bodily harm and when the poliice arrived, he stated that I called him the K word.the police assaulted me saying I was a racist pig and should not be in this country. Richard , it's an african issue don't woory you only hear the white on black issues. I am sure this lady at your Gymn had bad things to say as well . Time to forgive and forget... f...that

  • ThandaMzansi - 2012-02-07 16:55

    Sadly, this woman was probably the victim of a reaction that the person in question would rather have directed at someone else. Public racism by members of our government (Manyi, Malema et al) have fueled the fire in this country, with white people being the target. Chances are they guy in this story is angry about being the target of that sort of racism, and that he took it out on this woman. Yes, he is clearly a racist. But I think we need to examine the underlying cause of these kinds of stories. Why are white people so angry? Why are they scared, and why do they hate black people? Is it just because, or is there a reason for the fear that motivates racism from white people?

      ThandaMzansi - 2012-02-07 19:14

      It seems as though ALL racism in South Africa is retaliatory. Black people are racist BECAUSE of apartheid. White people are racist BECAUSE of the new government. Isn't it time we all realised that governments don't represent people, and move on? And for everyone crowing that this is proof of white racism, this is ONE white man, and it's a story written from a single perspective. Proportionately speaking, that really proves nothing.

  • Nigel - 2012-02-07 16:56

    this is ridiculous, racism has no place here.....maybe his anger was incited by Malema & his racist remarks against whites, one wonders, but 2 wrongs don't make a right.

  • Alva - 2012-02-07 16:56

    Disgusting! Is the story factual and true? Lets wait and see.

  • Andre - 2012-02-07 16:59

    I our law there is a Latin rule "alteram partem". It means "listen to the other side/party". So far everyone has accepted this woman's side of what happened, and the "accused" side has not been heard. If her version is totally correct, blast the other person. But, if she is indeed making most of this up, blast her!

  • Soraya Sheppard - 2012-02-07 17:00

    South Africa and Racism is like a hand in glove its going to take more than Richard Branson. What came out of our supremist mouth lives and breathes in many hearts and minds. Yebo!

  • Andre - 2012-02-07 17:01

    Why doesn't Richard also intervene in the changeroom issue where young boys (primary school) have free access to undressed/naked adults? Is this a desirable thing to allow? I guess not, but Virgin does. There is already a "Exposure" case against a very well known sport presenter in court currently.

  • Jymiro - 2012-02-07 17:02

    We every day talk about foreign investment and how Malema's talks are creating a bad image of our belove country and how that can deter foreign investment. Racism is one of the worse deterent factors for foreign investment, we all know how SA was isolated from the rest of the world because of the policies of racism. Those policies are gone now, lets all condemn racism in all its forms. South Africa deserves better. We have shown the world at least beside our better past we human beings that can lives side by side. Racism eiher from Whites or Blacks must be rejected by all South Africans.