Virgin Active apology a ‘victory for freedom of expression’

2015-08-15 11:00
(via Twitter)

(via Twitter)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) South Africa on Saturday hailed Virgin Active’s apology to member Mohammed Desai as a victory for freedom of expression.

BDS spokesperson Kwara Kekana in a statement said the move was also a victory “against the Israeli lobby and its supporters’ consistent pressuring and harassing of businesses, members of the public as well as media who voice or even just allow legitimate criticism of Israel”.

The health club on Friday apologised to Desai for denying him entry to its Old Eds branch for wearing a T-shirt reading, “From the coast of Cape Town to the coast of Gaza, in solidarity with Palestinians against Israeli apartheid”.

In the apology published on its website, Virgin Active said it is “reviewing [their] procedures as a result to find more appropriate ways to manage any tensions which might arise in what is meant to be a positive space for members' fitness and wellness”.

"We have taken the highly publicised events at Old Eds Virgin Active health club this week extremely seriously," the statement reads.

"We have thoroughly investigated the decisions we took, and the reasons behind them, which ultimately led to a member, Mr Desai, being informed that he could not enter the gym wearing a particular T-shirt."

This process included a "very senior team flying immediately to Johannesburg" to personally meet Desai. 

After the apology was issued, Desai said: “This is not my victory nor that of BDS South Africa, but of all those thousands of South Africans who took to social media and other platforms in anger against the blatant violation of basic constitutional rights."

Read more on:    bds  |  virgin active  |  johannesburg
NEXT ON NEWS24X 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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 network.