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.

  • Myvision - 2012-02-07 22:47

    I wonder what will come of this.

      Bokfan - 2012-02-07 23:00

      If he did it he should face the law and be banned. If he didn't she should. Klaar gelag.

      jack.oosthuysen - 2012-02-07 23:04

      As there was no alcohol used in the gym the ~offenders~ could blame their outbursts on excessive use of steroids.

      goyougoodthing - 2012-02-08 06:32

      Hmm, did he do it 'personally' or "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". He should make up his mind. Besides, how important does he think he is that his 'personal attention' means anything.

      John - 2012-02-08 07:47

      Sounds like another Ellis Park farce where a black lady also screamed racism just to be exposed as a liar. Two conflicting stories again (Radio 702) and probably another cadre trying to improve her Crown Game status. Pathetic!

      edward.d.beesley - 2012-02-08 09:09

      The headline strongly suggests that Virgin itself has been involved in some form of racism, but reading the aritcle it is found that Virgin has absolutely nothing to do with these pathetic cases whatsoever. I don't know why Virgin has even undertaken to investigate them. It should've just kicked these childish stupid people out and told them to grow up.

      John - 2012-02-08 12:01

      YEBO, YEBO, YEBO I'm expressing enthusiasm..... (vote me down and I'm calling Richard Branson) Ross with those racial issues quickly becouse a code of misconduct cases from VA staff members are on the way. I think is about time to give you a run for our money. Any racial note in my statement so far?

  • @RossWZA - 2012-02-07 23:08

    Don't see why Virgin Active is getting all the flak. It was a member, not the club.

      John - 2012-02-07 23:18

      Ross its called duty of care mate......

      Compos - 2012-02-08 04:59

      I am also asking the same thing. Fight your own battles. Make a case. Don't get someone else to fight your battle.

      Saamprater - 2012-02-08 06:29

      @Ross, there was an instructor with this woman when it all happened, and he did nothing to defuse the situation. The lesson VA must learn here is that although "one can do what one pleases, when it pleases you" it is not always acceptable in an orderly society and their instructors need to instill mutual respect. (MUTUAL)

      Merven - 2012-02-08 07:40

      @Saamprater, because they had him on 702, and the lady is lying through her teeth.

      larisha.toffar - 2012-02-08 08:19

      Compos so what ur saying is that if you witness a "rape" u'll just turn around and walk away!! coz she must fight her own battles?? WOW I hope for ur sake ur never in such a situation where nobody wants to help...

      Marion - 2012-02-08 09:29

      @saamprater .... agree with you... one can think what one likes, one cannot say what one likes.

      Michael - 2012-02-08 10:01

      VA instructors are trained to improve club members physical fitness, they are not diplomats, bouncers, psycholgists or priests for shizz sake!In future, VA should make boxing gloves available to any warring factions in the gym so that the racially or otherwise offended can take their best shot at repairing their oh so mutilated pride

      Compos - 2012-02-08 10:02

      @larisha. What a real stupid reply from you. At one stage I was tempted to be dragged down to your level, but I won't allow you to beat me with experience. Find something useful to say.

  • Sinazo Melisa Mabandla-Yose - 2012-02-07 23:17

    It seems some of you have lost the plot here! This isn't about Malema (John) or the gym itself, but the fact that someone actually made a racial remark...despite what you may think Ant. It wasn't racial because he called him a boy but because he made a comment on "black" people and they seem to be taking over the country! This is a real problem and if none of you can see that a member of the club was rude and disrespectful then maybe the problem also lays with you!

      Merven - 2012-02-08 07:31

      'and if none of you can see that a member of the club was rude and disrespectful then maybe the problem also lays with you!' Yes, you're right, they should've told her to keep silent before she irritated everyone. She was the first one to be disrespectful. People in gyms must realise, there are other people also.

      Mvikeli - 2012-02-08 08:08

      @merven: be quiet in a gym? Really??

      Merven - 2012-02-08 08:29

      @Mvikeli, there is a huge difference between chatting in a gym and shouting. It is general gym etiquette to not bother fellow gym users.

      DuToitCoetzee - 2012-02-08 08:43

      @Mvikeli. Yes, if not it means you are not doing a proper work out and or there just to check the girls...or boys. You are in environment where people are pushing their bodies to the limit. They are tired and you know tired people get easier pissed off. We not talking of a brief word here and there, but shouting and disturbance is most annoying to other people practice. Also when one is taking to long at a machine you should know you causing a problem for other and if to slow in the head to realize it a floor manager must kindly remind you to move on. If you do not know this or understand it you must must stay away from a gym. On the insults I will not comment. It is still not clear to me what all was going on. I will rather wait for more and clearer facts.

      David - 2012-02-08 08:53

      What he said was true, may be not politically correct but he was honest. I would rather be honest.

      Nkulekweni - 2012-02-08 10:19

      Sinazo Melisa Mabandla-Yose You are expecting too much from the majority of people who make comments here. And the thumb downers. This is a very racist country and it is so because of the people who live in it, some of whom participate in this forum. Chris Rock says the one thing more annoying than racism is black people who are shocked by it.

  • The-Azanian - 2012-02-07 23:20

    steroids...not a good idea in public.

  • Chris - 2012-02-07 23:54

    I love how all of this has been elevated to international news status, with Richard Branson himself now involved. How about we sum it up like this, no colour, new SA yadda yadda......a woman on a threadmill was making a nuisance of herself by screaming like a pro female tennis player at 3 second intervals, and some old fart who is working out to get his fat gut down to an acceptable mid-life crisis porsche boxster size tries to make out as if he is more important than the mid-level management job he holds, and in the process, makes himself look a t*t. I don't see how this is big news, annoying woman meets mid-life crisis guy, they had a fight, nasty words were the end, how about both of you f*%k off out of the gym and make it a more pleasant place for everyone else?

      Driesie - 2012-02-07 23:56

      Chris ,good one almost wet my pants .

      JohncarlosBiza - 2012-02-08 07:37

      It's what Virgin Active did about it initially(nothing) that elevated it to newsworthy material.

      Dewald - 2012-02-08 07:55

      Ja I don’t understand why everything should be blown out of proportion. Run like a little f@kin cry baby oh boo hoo he/she hurt my feelings. It’s pathetic. Just show the strength of character. If someone is being nasty or racist toward you just ignore them. If you ignore something long enough the problem usually goes away.

      Sean - 2012-02-08 09:05

      It seems that they can do with any publicity now.

      Craig - 2012-02-08 10:16

      Why have no criminal charges been laid? this has nothing to do with VA, its about a bunch of scumbag racists.

      Nkosinathi - 2012-02-08 10:46

      Lovely Chris

      Andre - 2012-02-08 10:58

      hahaha brilliant and well said! - agreed

  • Jim - 2012-02-08 00:01

    It was rumoured years ago...after '94, that Madiba requested Richard Branson to intervene and take over what was then a Gym franchise going to the wall. He agreed and that's how Virgin entered this market in SA. (I'm open to correction on this) Now stop and think......does he really need SA's silly little Gym tarnishing the Virgin brand internationally because people cannot behave themselves in public??? I wonder what conclusion Richard might draw looking at some of the childish crap posted here....god help South Africa... I

  • Riaan - 2012-02-08 00:03

    Richard Branson himself is an extreme racist and imperialist, who will not help either ethnic group in South Africa but is only interested in lining his own pocket. His attempt to facilitate the overthrow of president Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe is indicative of what a truly evil man he is. The government should freeze his assets in South Africa and ban him from entering the country for promoting terror in Zimbabwe. His so-called "training centre" for youth development is nothing more than a scheme to attract cheap or free labour. Kick the Virgin brand out of SA which includes virgin active gyms and virgin airlines - we are no longer a colony of these hypocrates.

      joeballito - 2012-02-08 00:50

      This riaan oak is trying to see how many thumbs down it can receive, troll ignore it.

      Terco - 2012-02-08 01:59

      ...ha ha ha ha ha....Don't let Richard catch your "hypocrates", he will be very "amyuzd"....ha ha ha ha....

      Russell - 2012-02-08 06:47

      In the mean time you training there under his brand?

      Merven - 2012-02-08 07:33

      Any proof you our accusations Riaan?

      Angus - 2012-02-08 07:57

      Wow Riaan, so trying to overthrow Robert Mugabe PROVES how evil the man is??????? I guess Hitler and all the other "sweethearts" in history are your heroes then....

      Garth - 2012-02-08 09:23

      I was not going to give this ignorant troll the satisfaction of a comment, but cannot help myself: Riaan, you are a porksword of note! Outside! Out!

      violet.bossut - 2012-02-08 10:12

      Riaan the boer war is over long ago. Chop

      Gail - 2012-02-08 16:27

      Riaan, Hypocrates was Greek medic and doctors take a Hypocratic oath to first do no harm. I think you meant hypocrite.

  • Honest Raymond Makoi - 2012-02-08 00:10

    Hogging the equipment is hogging the equipment... What a girl this oke... The girl was racially abused but what does this oke expect... What a retard.. Just get of the equipment so others can use it. Such a pensy!

  • dericslab - 2012-02-08 00:11

    Oh yawn. Another bloody racist story.

  • Brad.Kopping - 2012-02-08 00:35

    what are the chances there will be ANOTHER racial incident at virgin active tomorrow?

  • Esperanca - 2012-02-08 01:11

    Tempers are flaring, recession has us all twisted. Guy took too long on the equipment another card paying member got upset. Had the equipment hogger been white, wld the irate member been that upset? Would he have told him not to be selfish? On the other hand each person has their own training schedule, was he really being selfish? Perhaps Virgin Active needs to equip their gym adequately seeing that they keep taking in membership! now screaming lady, we all distress differently, some ppl are silent whilst others are loud, gym is there to be enjoyed- Virgin Active just separate noisy rooms from quiet rooms, ppl shld choose whether they want to scream or not, those tht enjoy silence be given tht too! As for using the K. Word tht was / is unacceptable, be annoyed yes but not derogatory. We are all racist (we see & recognize colour) difference is, some of us are able to push it aside and deal with another human being. We are becoming impatient with each other.

      Garth - 2012-02-08 07:45

      If the guy `hogging the equipment' had been white, he probably would not have been offended by being asked to hurry up. If the woman, who believed that it was okay to express oneself in public, as if one was in one's own living room had been white, she probably would not have objected to being told to `pipe down'. The problem in both these cases is that it was a white person objecting to the behaviour of a black person. This, considering our history, is not acceptable in SA! The anc is never wrong! Blacks are not racist! Only whites are racist! If the two accused men were abusive then they should be charged with hate speech and banned. If however, their objections were legitimate and were raised objectively and without racism, then the two accusers should be banned; as happened a few years ago on an American college campus, where accusations of racism were unfounded and the accusers were then expelled. We are all tired of one way traffic.

      Gail - 2012-02-08 16:37

      On a lighter note (is that allowed or is it racist) I always knew there was a good reason not to exercise and pay for it. Also Esperanca, I find the term colonialist racist and unacceptable. Everyone is a colonialist somewhere and sometime and people need to get over themselves and focus on real issues that matter, such as dwindling resources and economic meltdowns and exercise their minds instead of their bodies about how to make water without which nobody will survive.

  • RobertKeeling - 2012-02-08 04:34

    You get a loudmouthed rich lawayer shouting the odds and people have a temporary hearing problem, or they were distracted. If it's an ordinary member - well they will have to take their chances. It's disgusting how money can talk!

  • Compos - 2012-02-08 04:58

    Why should Virgin Active deal with these issues? Take the particulars and go and make a case or do you always need someone else to fight your case for you?

  • The-Azanian - 2012-02-08 05:49

    its amazing how south africans are blinded by color. racism is racism and its disgusting. my parents fed me hatred for white people when growing up, but for the sake of this beautiful country and its future ive dropped that poisonous nonsense.

  • Rupert - 2012-02-08 06:01

    It should be a matter between the 2 people involved irrelevant of where it happened......somebody is batting for V.A.freebees..........

      Craig - 2012-02-08 10:24

      Ya, check their subscription fees, ever they've expired or about to expire.

  • Saamprater - 2012-02-08 06:23

    Heard a gym patron being interviewed on 702 yesterday, and he has a very, very different story to tell than this "lady" in question. Apparantly the gentleman never used the K word and in fact, this lady started screaming like a pig being slaughtered, using the K word etc. And besides that, I have stopped my membership at Virgin a while ago for the very reason this gentleman in question complained about. Now this is my point..... For us all to co-exist peacefully, why can't certain members of our society not show common respect to people. Not everyone wants to work-out in a township bang-bang-club atmosphere. Same scenario and chat I had with my neighbor when he moved from Tembisa to our complex. After a serious night of boem-boem rap crap music,I asked,"Surely you moved here, because you like the order, peace and quiet? He replied yes and then I had to ask him, "why then do you insist on bringing that very situation you moved away from to our complex?" He was very upset and called me a racist, but funny enough, after a while he came around and now we visit on a regular basis, and we laugh about the situation. He is my best neighbor ever. Therefore, to this lady in question in this gym debacle, move up to an acceptable standard and you will see, people actually like you. But if it is "spotlight" you wanted, you got it, and maybe you will become Premier for being at the forefront of the struggle that is over now.

      Michael Kleber - 2012-02-08 06:44

      nice comment i share ur view

      Rudi Van Der Bank - 2012-02-08 06:55

      I agree!

      Tebogo Mulugo - 2012-02-08 07:42

      'Not everyone wants to work-out in a township bang-bang-club atmosphere.' I totally agree with you. And just because we are a democratic people, it doesn't mean we must trample on each other. There's a place for everything, u want to work out in a quiet atmosphere,dnt go to the township gym cos you are not going to find your prefered atmosphere. Same goes for me who likes the loud,heavy music,heavy talking atmosphere,I must not go to an upmarket(for lack of a better word) gym and try to create that atmosphere. Its all about being considerate.

      Trudy - 2012-02-09 14:05

      Define "acceptable standard" ?

  • Nico - 2012-02-08 06:33

    Now this is what I don't understand: 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

      Merven - 2012-02-08 07:38

      Yet they implement racist affirmative action etc.

      DuToitCoetzee - 2012-02-08 08:58

      Ha, ha, ha! He saw the criticism Blatter took. You can't blame the man. I would have been scared as well. ;)

  • Herman - 2012-02-08 06:43

    Racism is alive and kicking in SA, won't ever go away.

  • Hermann - 2012-02-08 07:11

    Two dimwitted whites holding some 4 million whites hostage to the accusation of racism - Virgin should boot them out not waste time with investigations, but let us wait and see.

      Aston - 2012-02-08 09:30

      Thanks HermannH, the only intelligent comment here

      Garth - 2012-02-08 11:06

      The only dimwitted ones are the 2 immediately above this post.

  • JC - 2012-02-08 07:21

    Can't escape THE TRUTH

  • Alexia - 2012-02-08 07:30

    I was at gym the other day in Cape Town and decided to move my bag to another bench which was free, as oppossed to getting changed inbetween 5 people and as i moved my bag, I heard one of the ladies saying "Hamba Sissie" and alot of other talk and mocking me in Xhosa. And i thought to myself, jeez, get overself already, it's got nothing to do with what colour you are, i just want some space when i get changed, instead of sticking my bum into another 5 faces!

      braamc - 2012-02-08 11:11

      Imagine there fat bums in your face

  • Seja - 2012-02-08 07:34

    VIRGIN-ACTIVE NEEDS TO TRAIN ITS GYM MANAGERS IN CONFLICT MANAGEMENT! Its not enough to just train them to manage first aid and gym routines, they are in the people business and need to manage potentially explosive situations! I believe gym manager is the ultimate f*k-up in this for not properly neutralising the situation and having the members go over their heads and approach the newspapers!! Had the situations been properly neutralised the incidents would not have gone beyond the confines of those particular gyms and Branson wouldnt even know about this!!

  • Wessel - 2012-02-08 07:37

    In a country where daily people go without food, are in pain because of cancer,worry about where the next meal will come from for their children, staying dry in their shacks - time is spent commenting on the 'sensitivities of fools' that exploit EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING - either because they are bored,BEE prima donnas or just plain love to stirrup s..t and look like the victims!!! Can any of you imagine yourself or 'these unfortunate victims of racisim' overnight in IRAQ on the morning 20th March 2003 when bombs came raining down on BAGHDAD thats turned that country into "hell on earth"!!!!!!!!!! I would give anything to see your selfish/ungrateful/moaning/whining faces !!!! ....Here is a question for all of you intellectuals..."do you believe what happened in Iraq and Libya for that matter could not happen here...the Sandton Towers with 155mm shells ripping through it...or your precious VIRGIN ACTIVE a pile of rubble?" Wake up fools smell the roses..get real and worry about the REAL MEANING OF LIFE!!!! Have a very happy day!

  • Michael Kleber - 2012-02-08 07:39

    This story is the highlight of 702 news in all newspapers all because a man swore at a woman at gym , in the last few days how many people have been robbed murdered or raped and don't even get a mention on radio or in the newspaper , why is this i would rather be sworn at than robbed or murdered , i am confused

  • Comrade - 2012-02-08 07:42


  • MSGRule - 2012-02-08 07:42

    When will it just be people at the gym arguing and not be about race, eventhough they are different races, this so tyring. South Africa the country of "lets make everything more than it is"

      Tebogo Mulugo - 2012-02-08 07:44

      We still have a long way to go as a country. Right now,we are too touchy-feely,everything becomes a race issue. Its beconming boring actually.

      Philisiwe Msomi - 2012-02-08 10:11

      once one says ''You blacks''....then it is about race n it is obvous the anger one possess isn't about the gym'equipment...but s towards blacks in general!!

      DuToitCoetzee - 2012-02-08 10:35

      @Philisiwe Msomi. That is true, but I would like to rephrase your words. "once on say You...and attach a colour, it is about race. Sounds better? On the hind side. When a group, colour or race having a way or saying or action that they gets commonly/easily associated with it become more common that the "you" will be followed by that association. In SA association is a very sensitive issue, like race and therefore it will not be appropriate to use it. Another problem, that get used by all races, is the generalization and the common clinging to a group where individual incidents happens. White tend to make us of the 1st one, but blacks start using it now nearly on equal base. The 2nd one is known to be used more by blacks and that is why you will get the whites mentioning the victim syndrome so often. Are we not an interesting group of people in SA? If we now only can learn proper manners.LOL!

  • Derek - 2012-02-08 07:46

    If this Liz person behaved like a civilized being in the first place this incident would never have happened....if she wanted to shout yebo all over the show maybe she should have attended a soccer match...I can clearly identify with the annoyance it caused....

      Modipi Ngulube - 2012-02-08 09:48

      If you can't tolerate the different people your going to encounter at the gym then you should stay at home. Plus there are means and ways to resolve a problem without havin to stoop to that level of insults. And what the hell do you mean by acting civilised this term is often used where conservative behaviour is exhibited but it doesn't mean conservative. Again another uninformed person thinking they are superior to another. When you get the definition of civilised then you can make a comment on acting civilised!

  • Henri James Christie - 2012-02-08 07:48

    I grew up in an awesome country, racially divided by law. Now living in an awesome country, racially divided by hatred. The first divide was probably the better of the 2. Come on ALL South Africans, stop this bull...t, look forward and start building. The potential is there, the resources are there, all that is missing is UNITY!!!!!

  • Bibi - 2012-02-08 07:57

    If you only read the headlines, it looks as if Virgin Active Gyms were the culprits. It is actually normal citizens and I cannot for the life of me see how anybody can blame Virgin. The whole world will alwayshave of racists (and all kinds of other idiots) and nothing will change this. Tell the idiot to f-off and hold your head high and carry on.

  • Shaun - 2012-02-08 08:01

    this article sounds very dull, 2 incidents and not even employers of Virgin Active was involved, only outsiders. - Cheers

  • Timothy Jenkin - 2012-02-08 08:04

    The mere mention of color makes me sick, whites, blacks, Indians! None of you believe in God, u say u do but behave like someone who is everything but a reflection of God. This is the reason I want to move out of SA. I live with millions of shallow minded people and it's really sickening!

  • Thoka - 2012-02-08 08:06

    People sing along for comfort, excitement,encouragement or any other reason. I have been to defferent spinning classes around the country and people sing encouraging each other(kingspark, workshop, midrand, centurion, bloemfontain. pta the works) why bow down to a racist prick

  • Eric - 2012-02-08 08:11

    This has become a complete joke.. I bet you if 2 white guys had an argument in a gym about weights or equipment nothing would have happened. Another thing to remember is there is always 2 sides to a story.

  • Thilivhali - 2012-02-08 08:13

    This rasist thing is really getting tired, stop it and move on with your lives. He knows that is not a boy and he's black. This dude must just grow up and stop crying like a boy. *no wonder he was called a boy* Haai suka

  • Dark - 2012-02-08 08:14

    Why can't we all just respect each other. This country is hopeless. I want to me a millionaire and live on my island alone forever. People are just disgusting. If I don't become a millionaire, Apocalypse please come sooner!

  • Bernard - 2012-02-08 08:16

    This is going to be on the increase, thanks to that pig Malema. He & thousans of other have forgotten that the generation that created Aparthied are mostly pushing up dasies, and the current generation is responsible for their freedom (the "Yes" vote in '92 referendum), I was one of the yes votes, after having my eyes opened serving in the SADF... 20 years on, I am ready to put my browns back on, and defend my country, my family, my religion & freedom to the death against these pagans who are perpetrating the ongoing white genocide... to the 2 "victims" in this incident repeat after me... "THANKS MALEMA & ANCYL! you can blame apartheid all you want, but it is gone, it is your lack of moral fibre mnifest in your lack of forgiving & forgetting that is NOW destroying South Africa"

      Yolokazi Lethabo Langeni - 2012-02-08 08:47

      @Bernard, I find it hard to grasp the point that you're trying make. 1. What's Malema got to do with this? 2. What's your servitude got to do with this? 3. Where is the lack of moral fibre for someone who is fighting for their rights? As much as this country no longer has apartheid - there is still a lot of separation amongst the races. Some are affected by it on a daily basis. Yes, not every white person is racist. And no, not every black person supports Malema. But when an incident such as this occurs - it MUST be taken seriously to send a message to the rest of those that still have a racist mindset and those that still have a superiority complex, that this country will NOT tolerate their behaviour, and will work on eradicating these issues until every last bit of them is also pushing daisies. Notice how I didn't say "white" or "black" with my last statement - just racist. On either side.

  • Colin - 2012-02-08 08:17

    People stop justifying or defend racist acts - you are only exposing your own racist tendencies - normal society do not accept racist acts.

  • Dickson - 2012-02-08 08:20

    What? Racism? Where these people beaten? Raped? Murdered? Please! Very typical! If someone tells you off and you are wrong, take it on the chin. If not tell them to go to hell, don't show the world how petty South Africa has become.

  • Henk - 2012-02-08 08:26

    waarom kan net witmense rassiste wees?

  • Ronnie - 2012-02-08 08:26

    ekfeugo you are an idiot

  • errol.wagner - 2012-02-08 08:27

    This has nothing to do with the gym. Why could the people who were directly involved not just sort it out? Why make a national incident of something that is personal?

  • maseratifittipaldi - 2012-02-08 08:36

    The true racists will do anything to keep racism alive. They will see racism in just about anything. They are South Africa's "weakest link". Good bye.

  • Paula - 2012-02-08 08:37

    I wonder what would happen if roles were vice versa. There are so much more important things to worry about then childish banter...New SA book a room

  • Nonku Butelezi - 2012-02-08 08:41

    You can't blame Malema for someone else's actions because then I can be racist & blame it on that singer Steve Hofmeyr. Racism existed before Malema, he is racist but is no different to the people here claiming that he was justified by calling her derogatory names simply because he was irritated by her. If he had to he could insult her voice or anything but racial slurs.

      richard.hipkin - 2012-02-08 09:04

      Well I agree, there are ways to sort out an irritation in a mature adult way. Not like a rampaging hippo..

  • Karla Soares - 2012-02-08 08:47

    Like i said the other day I cant believe people are behaving like this still! Its disgusting! They are given other white people a bad rep!

      Garth - 2012-02-08 09:31

      Don't believe everything you read. There are always two sides to every story and one should wait for the facts to materialize before JUMPING DOWN SOMEONE ELSE'S THROAT!

  • Paula - 2012-02-08 08:47

    Aawhere ma se kind lets all gather around the treadmill and start singing "like a virgin" maybe we will make news.

  • Kekeletso Nakeli - 2012-02-08 08:49

    Here's my opinion, white people will never understand the opinion of blacks when it comes to racism because it never happened to them on the full scale that apartheid happened. Black people will sometimes see things as a racial attack because we've been racially victimised for so long. Truth is, yes black people do need to move along from the racial argument but only us (the black people) can determine at what pace. Not all south african whites aren't racist, and not all black south africans aren't racially sensitive. The problem is just that when a situation like this arises instead of people saying, I hope this, whether racist or not gets sorted out as quickly as possible, rather people insult others through their commentary...that's just fuelling the fire.

      aardvarkie - 2012-02-08 08:54

      Well said.

      richard.hipkin - 2012-02-08 09:06

      @Kekeletso, the problem is that moving on at your own pace is dangerous because it allows black people to use "racism" as a weapon and a block..

      Luke Ranjith - 2012-02-08 09:09


      johannes.smith - 2012-02-08 09:28

      I do not agree with your argument at all Kekeletso. I feel it is unfounded. I am in the personnel industry and I see the effects every day of white males not being able to find a job as a result of BEE. I myself sat without a job for 9 months as a result of BEE. I think we are feeling it. Believe me. I am not racist, but BEE definitely is! There is no equality in this country. Do yourself a favor go and Google "white squatter camps", you'd be surprised what "Equal Opportunities for all" have become. There is so much poverty in terms of white and black people, the rich are becoming richer, and as always don't give a rats' ass about what happens to the rest. I serve God, and God tells me to love my neighbor as I love myself.

      Felix - 2012-02-08 09:29

      I've had my bosses brother shot dead by 3 tsotsis and had to look after a 64 year old family friend who was hit in her face with a panga in her own house. When do I reach that 'full scale'?

      johannes.smith - 2012-02-08 09:36

      Agreed Felix! Now there is the type of racism that you will never read about on News24 unfortunately...

      Nonku Butelezi - 2012-02-08 10:59

      We too are victims of crime so its not based on race.

      Sarel Brits - 2012-02-08 20:03

      Yes Nonku its not racist, we all know there is gangs of white men rapeing, steeling and hijacking black people in the black towships.

  • aardvarkie - 2012-02-08 08:53

    I'll bet the guy was on steroids, sounds like a right chop.

  • Bubba - 2012-02-08 08:54

    Racism is stupid. If people were happy with their race, then nothing someone can say should offend them. I'm happy to be white. Call me a honkie or whatever and I just laugh it off. Racism won't go away until people stop making such a big deal about it.

  • Krish - 2012-02-08 09:05

    I left gym 2 months ago. Cannot stand the stink.