Social media has consequences and it seems the tides turn as quick as the ocean. With that said, we’re also in an incredibly tense time where racism is rife and there are twitter-storm triggers around every corner.
A Cape Town restaurant bill on which diners were described as “2 BLACKS” started off re-igniting claims that many of the Mother City’s top restaurants are racist until it was revealed that the waiter who described the patrons, is in fact also black.
On Monday morning‚ Sivuyile Madikana‚ who was voted SA Medical Association’s Junior Doctor of the Year last month‚ posted a photo on Twitter of his bill from Clifton’s The Bungalow restaurant‚ on which the words “2 BLACKS” appear with the the comment “Wow. Just Wow. Cape Town never loved any of us. And I actually used to like this place – The Bungalow in Clifton.”
His dining partner‚ Scott Maqetuka also tweeted: The Bungalow in Clifton still sees us by the colour of our skin.”
— Scott (@Scott_Maq) December 18, 2016
The Bungalow – part of The Kove Collection – put out a statement saying that its system was to identify customers by table numbers only.
“This was the act of one employee‚ and an internal investigation is taking place‚ and procedures put into place to ensure that this does not happen again.”
The restaurant went on to say that the description written “2 BLACKS” on the bill was actually just the waiter’s style of shorthand.
In an official media statement, the Bungalow said “no offence was intended” by the incident and that the venue had a “clear policy of non-discrimination on the basis of gender, race, religion or sexual orientation”.
Since the incident, the waiter, Mike Dzange, has publicly opened up and said that he regrets the controversial incident.
“I’d like to apologise deep from my heart for the trouble I have caused; it happened without intention of hurting anybody. I’d sincerely like to apologise to Mr Scott and partner,” Dzange, a Zimbabwean national said.
He has since been suspended with a possibility of being fired from The Bungalow, where he has worked for the past eight years.
Maqetuka continued to publicly dismiss the restaurant, even after the restaurant issued an officially apology on all social media platforms and released press statements with the same sentiments.
@KoveCollection I do not accept your apology. You've failed to contact me directly as an offended patron.
— Scott (@Scott_Maq) December 19, 2016
Main stream media reported the incident which then blew up on social media with many users commenting on the bill. The tone was anger towards the restaurant and the waiter.
But the tides of social media turned when it was revealed that the waiter was himself black.
Black man fired for writing '2 blacks'. I thought black people can't be racist? Glad that's settled. Identity politics will destroy itself.
— Gwen Ngwenya (@GwenNgwenya) December 21, 2016
— Andrew Ross (@maddog_sa) December 22, 2016
My opinion is probably unpopular but I believe "2 Blacks" didn't warrant the outrage it received & the waiter didn't deserve to lose his job
— Andrei with an "i" (@AndreiDamane) December 21, 2016
@Scott_Maq Well done Scott. You've had your fifteen minutes of fame and caused great distress to a hard working waiter. Feel proud.
— Prof David Bullard (@lunchout2) December 21, 2016
The is nothing racist to be called #2blacks on the restaurant slip. If you feel ashamed of your racial group and skin colour bleach yourself
— Ruby Kekana (@RubyKekana) December 21, 2016
It is a sad indictment of a race when they consider their own race offensive. #2blacks
— Hate left's hate EUV (@ExUnitateVires) December 21, 2016
Dear #2blacks waiter
You have strong case for defamation against customers who maligned you.
Also strong case at CCMA against employers.
— Graham Robert Evans (@cliviagraham) December 21, 2016
The twitter backlash seems to have also created a change of heart with Maqetuka who has now ‘publicly accepted’ the apology and is asking that the waiter not lose his job.
— Scott (@Scott_Maq) December 21, 2016
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