Black Motion suing British Airways for R3,7m

Black Motion suing British Airways for R3,7m

Black Motion plans to sue British Airways (BA) over an alleged racist incident that saw them being kicked-off a flight.

The dance duo has revealed that they will be launching a R3,7-million lawsuit against the airline.

Thabo ‘Smol’ Mabogwane and Bongani ‘Murdah’ Mohosana have accused BA of racism, and public humiliation.

The pair are also accusing the airline of falsely accusing them of terrorism.

The allegations stem from an incident in December. The platinum-selling stars were seated in business class while waiting for their flight to depart from Cape Town International airport when they were told that they had to move to economy.

A cabin controller singled them out after a white female passenger complained that her seat was broken.

The captain had the pair escorted off the plane after the cabin controller complained they were being verbally abusive.

Smol and Murdah, who reportedly were the only black passengers seated in business class say they were confused when their names were called out
Speaking to the City Press, Smol says they questioned why they had to be moved.

“Why us? And why both of us when only one seat is broken? The white lady who took my seat said she feels so embarrassed. I told her it’s okay, I’m not angry with you,” he told the publication.

Comair, which owns the airline, apologised after the incident, and said it would investigate the incident.

The company had rejected Black Motion’s racism claims, saying the duo were the first to be downgraded because they had discounted tickets.

But according to City Press, Comair’s draft investigation at least three other white male passengers should have been considered before the duo – a staff member travelling on a rebated ticket, a man flying on a free upgrade following an incident on a previous flight and a passenger who received a ticket as part of a marketing initiative.

Smol says he is surprised by claims they were verbally abusive.

“All I did was ask questions… They were walking up and down on their walkie talkies, causing a scene and delaying things. Murdah hardly spoke. He’s a really quiet guy, I never shouted,” he told the publication.

One Comair witness claims the pair were “calm and quiet”, but other witnesses say the pair got “angry” and were “screaming”.

Comair has reportedly indicated that it will not be paying the damages
“We do not believe that such a payment will address the principles of racism that you so vehemently raised in the media, but will rather serve to sweep the matter under the carpet,” Comair’s CEO Erik Venter reportedly said in letters.

The company has allegedly offered to pay R50 000 to make up for a gig Black Motion missed as a result of being removed from the flight.

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