...AND WE SUPPOSE SHE WILL SCREAM "RACIST" TILL SHE GETS THE DOUGH EH?
Accountant sues new 5-star hotel
Jun 23, 2010 11:23 PM | By SALLY EVANS
A Johannesburg accountant is demanding R150-billion in compensation and an apology from a five-star Sandton hotel for "racist treatment, harassment and defamation" after a security employee told her it was "a closed hotel".
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Gcinani Mtoba, 39, who lives in Sandton's plush Morningside suburb, claimed that her experience at the newly built Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel was "traumatic and humiliating".
Mtoba, who lives with her 20-year-old daughter, went to the hotel to watch the opening World Cup match between Bafana Bafana and Mexico on June 11.
Mtoba alleges that, after the match, she went to the hotel bar where there was a party.
"It was all fine, but then my phone rang so I went downstairs as it was very noisy in the bar. While I was on the phone a woman from the hotel's security said to me 'Who are you talking to, give me your phone. This is a high security area'.
"I told her I was talking to a friend and said 'No', I wouldn't give her my phone. She asked me what I was doing at the hotel."
Mtoba said she went back to join the party and dismissed the incident. She decided to return a day later to watch the Argentina vs Nigeria game.
Mtoba and her daughter, Chosi, claimed that they were greeted with suspicion by hotel staff and by the head of security, with whom she had had the earlier encounter.
"The same woman from the night before told me, 'The security is very tight here. I am watching you'.
"I was shocked so I followed her and said, 'Madam, what is the problem'? She was standing with hotel guests and security, and in front of them, she said: 'Security come. Take them. They are just sitting here for two days, not eating or drinking. Get these people out'."
Mtoba said she spent about R400 on food and drink at the hotel.
"I was so irritated that I told her I would report her. She sneered and said, 'To who'?"
Mtoba said after several failed attempts to speak to a manager, she asked for her bill.
"The whole thing was a circus. The security woman was laughing at us with hotel guests. When I confronted her again, she told me and my daughter, 'This is a closed hotel', though I know it is open to the public. The whole thing was traumatic and highly degrading."
Jasper Hendrikse, general manager of the Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel, said he was aware of the incident.
"I am aware of this lady. That night we were hosting a party for one of the sponsors of the World Cup so we had to ensure there was privacy on the premises," he said.
Mtoba has laid a charge of intimidation and humiliation at the Sandton police station against the woman and the hotel.
Sandton police spokesman Capt Kym Cloete confirmed that a case was opened, but could not confirm its status.
Mtoba has enlisted the help of lawyer Xolani Ntsebeza, who confirmed that he had drafted a letter of demand to the hotel.
"We have had no response from the hotel," Ntsebeza said.
About the demand for R150-billion in compensation, Mtoba said: "I know it sounds like a ridiculous amount but they traumatised me. As an accountant, I know the only way they will learn is if I seriously dent their bank account."
Hendrikse said he was aware of the letter of demand but had "not formally received a copy".
POST SENT BY R.T (EASTERN CAPE)