NEWS & ANALYSIS

Kulula: Passenger’s attitude repulsive – Ahmed Kahtrada Foundation

Person admitted to using the used k-word in a text to reportedly describe captain Menzi Mvelase

Kathrada Foundation condemns Kulula passenger’s racism

19 June 2018

The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation’s condemns the racist attitude of Kulula flight passenger, Alochna Moodley.

Moodley admitted to using the used the k-word in a text to reportedly describe the captain, Menzi Mvelase, and two other passengers.

The Foundation’s Executive Director, Neeshan Balton, said that Moodley’s attitude was “repulsive and must be strongly condemned”.

“There can be no excuse for racism, whether it is uttered publicly on a stage, or sent via a text message. While Moodley admitted to using the k-word, we are tired of hearing the excuse, ‘Yes I used those words, but….’. Moodley blamed her racism on being frustrated because the flight was delayed. What has a flight being delayed have to do with the pilot’s race, or that of other passengers? Flights are delayed all across the world by airlines for a variety of reasons. What Moodley should do is admit to her racism without providing any excuses. She should not only apologise, but commit to undergoing anti-racism and diversity training to overcome her prejudiced views,” Balton said.

“Moodley, according to a media report, says that the matter is being blown out of proportion. We would like to remind her that racism is a serious issue. Calling someone the ‘k-word’ is not a ‘little offense’. It is highly offensive and deserves media and public attention and condemnation.”

At the same time, Balton commended Kulula for taking at tough stance against the offender and ensuring that she was removed from the flight. “It is important for companies to show that racism will not be tolerated. In this instance, other passengers and the airline’s staff needed to be protected from further enduring Moodley’s vile racism.

“We hope that other businesses can draw lessons from this example and employ similar methods of dealing with racists. We also hope that this incident sends a strong message to racists themselves, that society will not tolerate their bigotry.”

Balton also praised passenger, Reverend Solomuzi Mabuza, for calling out Moodley when he noticed her racist text. “Mabuza could have simply remained silent in the face of racism, but he did not. He must be commended for this. Throughout Anti-Racism Week this year, we have been calling on individuals to speak out and act against racism. The stance taken by Reverend Mabuza, who alerted the airline about the matter and highlighted the issue publicly, is something that can be replicated by others who face racism. We also applaud the actions of other passengers who similarly voiced their opposition to Moodley’s racism.”  

Balton added that the Foundation is in contact with Reverend Mabuza and will explore how to take the matter forward and possibly take further action against Moodley for her comments.”

Issued by Zaakirah Vadi, Communications Officer, the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, 19 June 2018