South Africa: Racial Incidents Tarnish the Tourism Industry

Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu says acts of racism are a blight on the South African tourism sector.

This after a video emerged on social media in December wherein two teenage black boys were attacked and assaulted by a group of white adults at a swimming pool at Maselspoort Resort, just outside Bloemfontein, on Christmas day.

Three men, Kobus Klaassen, Johan Nel and Jan van der Westhuizen were subsequently arrested and charged with crimen injuria and common assault.

Klaassen faces a further charge of attempted murder after being seen holding one of the boys underwater.

“This has tarnished tourism in the country.”

“No racial group should take advantage of the industry to discriminate and act violently against any other racial group in indulging in any niceties presented by this industry,” Sisulu said.

The Minister noted that the resort has not yet condemned the attack and highlighted that the tourism industry needs to undergo further transformation.

“It is an industry that must be deracialised including its ownership.

“Tourism provides us an immediate communication platform to sell to the world the beautiful nation we are and our commitment to become a prosperous destination full of offerings for the visitors,” she said.

Sisulu recently visited the family of the boys who were attacked and expressed government’s condemnation of the incident.

“I am sorry that during our leadership your family experienced such discrimination. We apologise that we as government couldn’t protect you from such people,” Sisulu said.

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