[READ] Owner of CPT's YogaZone responds to racial claims made by yoga instructor

Weekend Breakfast host Africa Melane received a call from yoga practitioner by the name of Kafui, about a racist statement she received from a colleague at Cape Town's YogaZone.

Kafui says that on a hot day in December, a colleague of hers decided to say, 'It's really hot today, let's pretend we're at the plantation so you can fan me.'

She adds that a head yoga instructor, who is caucasian, said to me, ''Let's pretend we are at the plantation so you can fan me.'

That was apparently a joke that I was suppose to take as a joke says Kafui.

It wasn't a joke, it was hurtful and offensive and I've made it very clear says the yoga instructor.

To be honest, it's not the first time issues have been brought to the forefront in the yoga community. This is something that's been going on for years

Kafui, yoga instructor

I am myself a yoga teacher and I've been part of the community for over 11 years. It's time that we address these issues.

Kafui, yoga instructor

Owner of YogaZone, Fulvio Grandin responded to Kafui's claims by saying that when libelous and defamatory comments are made using a company's name, then the damage, in a sense is already done.

I'm not sure whether the same listeners that were affected by the comments that were heard yesterday, are necessarily going to be listening today, and enabling me my version of the events which are factual.

Fulvio Grandin, owner of YogaZone

Grandin says that this is one of the problems with free-to-air and public broadcasters.

Grandin adds that Kafui, the caller, spoke of many issues.

He says that there was a racial incident at YogaZone in December last year.

He adds that in no way, was it an institutional or a policy matter from the business.

It was distinctly from one individual to another in their individual capacity he says.

As soon as that was brought to my attention, I took the matter extremely seriously and immediately had independent meetings with all the parties.

Fulvio Grandin, owner of YogaZone

Even before the incident had occurred, the person that made the comment apologised verbally, and again made an apology in writing says Grandin.

He adds that non of these apologies were accepted by Kafui but under the circumstances, it's understandable that it was a very sensitive issue, and there was a lot of hurt experienced on her side.

My actions were appropriate to labour law and labour practice, and even though Kafui proceeded to make allegations against the YogaZone of discrimination in the workplace - accusing myself and the business of having dismissed this issue of not having taken it seriously, and of having taken no action of recifying and addressing this matter. Those are blatantly untrue, and the matter was then taken by herself to the CCMA.

Fulvio Grandin, owner of YogaZone

Click on the link below to hear more from the owner of YogaZone Fulvio Grandin...


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