Beauty vlogger Mihlali Ndamase caused a storm on social media over the weekend after alleging that she and her friends had been called “animals” by a FlySafair flight attendant.
In a post on Instagram, Ndamase posts a picture of the flight attendant and alleged she and her friends were told they were too loud and called “animals”. She said police were called to escort her group from the flight but that when they arrived they saw “nothing wrong” with their behaviour.
“I can’t believe we have to deal with such treatment in 2019 for being black,” Ndamase said in the post.
The issue has divided social media, with some supporting Ndamase and believing her story and others expressing scepticism. Some have called for both parties involved in the altercation to be held accountable.
Some have expressed the view that racism in South Africa is real and that Ndamase should, therefore, be believed.
According to various social media users, however, Ndamase had “boasted” about having smuggled gin onto the flight, in a now-deleted post. Some believe this is evidence that her version of events may not be a true reflection of what happened.
A WhatsApp message in which a person alleged to be the flight attendant accused of calling Ndamase and her friends animals is questioned by an unnamed individual has also been shared on social media.
In the message, the flight attendant claims that Ndamase called her a “bitch” and threw a glass at her, that she and her friends were drunk and that she did not, in fact, call the group “animals”.
The authenticity of the message has not been confirmed.
View this post on Instagram
My friends and I were called animals by these people on @flysafairza because we were being “loud” on the flight. I didn’t know it was against the law to speak on a flight, I mean if you have an issue with hearing black people’s voices buy a private jet ????????♀️ I can’t believe we have to deal with such treatment in 2019 for being black, I’m so disappointed. Please hire EDUCATED, TRAINED staff. I can’t spend my money on a flight only to be treated like someone who’s not supposed to be on the airline, because of the colour of my skin. They called policemen to escort us off the flight, because we questioned what the issue was with our behavior and funny enough the police men saw absolutely NOTHING wrong with our behavior. I tried to handle this matter with as much grace and maturity as possible but I’m outraged by how much disrespect we got from the staff of FLYSAFAIR @flysafairza
— Joseph Lerubako (@lerubako) May 12, 2019
Lol the Mihlali story looked weird from the beginning. Just before she boarded the flight she posted about how she nearly missed her flight because she is drunk and she managed to bring in a cup full of gin on the flight
— IG: _tshidi_ (@tshidi_04) May 13, 2019
How many racist altercations have happened in clubs/ bars with everyone drunk? Suddenly today Mihlali cant be a victim of a racist attack because she was drunk? Love that.
— . (@camagumayeye_) May 12, 2019
That lady said she had issues with Mihlali bringing her own alcohol onto the flight. Mihlali has now deleted a post where she bragged about sneaking a cup of gin onto the plane… https://t.co/zIYXqWtVva
— Sisi weTV ???? (@OfficialYayah) May 13, 2019
Guys I'm in no way a Mihlali stan but let's not act like being drunk on a plane warrants racism or calling anyone an animal or barbaric. If they were disruptive and the airline felt that they were a threat then the police should have escorted them off the plane.
— @xxkhanyaxx (@xxkhanyaxx1) May 13, 2019
— A Happy Person. (@ApheleleDlams) May 12, 2019
Lmao a little text from the white hun and now everybody is taking her side? Serious? In a country where racism is very real and very active? HECTIC
— RICH BITCH (@Zandile08) May 12, 2019
Read the stories, 1+1 = mihlali was wrong. shes the bully. Sis needs to apologize https://t.co/0lsz8iLesH
— Mikateko Ndlovu (@Mikateko_Ndlovu) May 13, 2019
This situation ya Mihlali is tricky because they actually violated the rules by boarding drunk and the possession of alcohol however it sounds like it wasn’t handled in a good manner therefore resulting in the name calling. Both parties need to be accountable.
— A Girl Is Finally No One???? (@Simply_Nhlamulo) May 12, 2019
FlySafair issued a statement acknowledging that the company is aware of the social media posts by Ndamase, adding that the airline will “launch a comprehensive investigation into the incident and will take swift and appropriate actions in response.”
The airline also commented on Ndamase’s Instagram post.
“Hi @mihlalii_n. Thanks so much for bringing this to our attention. Of course we as a company do not stand for discrimination of any sort. As the proud employers of over 1000 South Africans from all walks of life we stand for inclusivity, equality and tolerance. You have our assurance that we will investigate the matter comprehensively in the morning. We’ll obviously consult with our teams for context and, with your consent, we will have a Senior FlySafair representative call you in the morning for your account too. We intend [to take] decisive action.”
The Citizen has reached out to Ndamase for comment and will update this story if and when we receive it.