Mihlali Ndamase accuses FlySafair staff of calling her and friends ‘animals’

Beauty vlogger Mihlali Ndamase. Picture: Provided.

Beauty vlogger Mihlali Ndamase. Picture: Provided.

Police were reportedly called to escort the beauty vlogger off a flight in an incident that has divided social media.

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.

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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

A post shared by Mihlali Ndamase (@mihlalii_n) on

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.

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