Staff at Sun City bid farewell to the bridal couple  Aakash Jahajgarhia and Vega Gupta  as they leave the Palace of the Lost City. Photo: Supplied
Staff at Sun City bid farewell to the bridal couple  Aakash Jahajgarhia and Vega Gupta  as they leave the Palace of the Lost City. Photo: Supplied

Guptas’ guests weren’t racist - Sun City

By Aziz Hartley Time of article published May 9, 2013

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North West - Sun City management has denied Cosatu’s allegations that the Gupta family and their wedding guests were racist towards the resort’s staff, and a masseuse’s claims of sexual harassment.

But Cosatu is sticking to its guns and on Wednesday night alleged the masseuse had been bribed to keep quiet.

Sun City acting general manager Richard Hawkins said on Wednesday night: “Any wedding by its nature is demanding, and to execute a multi-function, three-day occasion, and meet expectations at this high level, was a significant achievement.

“It’s unfortunate this has been eclipsed by the unsubstantiated claims made by Cosatu.”

Hawkins said management and Cosatu North West had met on Friday to discuss the issue after Cosatu members in the province levelled claims of racism against Gupta wedding guests.

Last week, Cosatu said: “Cosatu is informed the (Gupta) family does not want to be served by the African staff employed in the resort.

“They demand that their services must be rendered by white personnel, starting from the cleaning of their rooms, the cooking and the drivers of the shuttles they use in.”

Hawkins said Friday’s meeting dealt with all the issues Cosatu had raised. The resort’s management invited the federation to submit evidence to support allegations that there had been incidents of racism “at the Gupta family’s behest”.

“The federation appeared to have accepted the explanations provided by Sun City and no evidence of racism has been produced,” he said.

The Gupta family had not booked the entire resort for its exclusive use and there were about 5 000 other guests at the complex, including at the Palace, said Hawkins.

“Regular staff were not inconvenienced or prejudiced in any way,” said Hawkins. The Guptas had hired support staff, chefs and private security.

“The allegation of rape at the spa was not substantiated by the staff member concerned, nor was it reported to the SAPS. The staff member indicated she is satisfied with procedures followed and would prefer the matter not be pursued.”

Cosatu North West secretary Solly Phetoe confirmed Friday’s meeting. It had been called to discuss a complaint of a security worker, but the Gupta matter came up, he said. “We did not say it was the Guptas. We said it was the guests. (The management) denied everything,” said Phetoe.

He did not offer evidence of racism and called for an investigation into the allegations. “I’m not surprised Sun City is releasing this statement. In the sexual harassment matter they are bribing the lady not to pursue the issue,” he said.

Asked to substantiate, Phetoe said: “They know very well there was sexual harassment. The question is how was it resolved. They advised her not to open a case.”

Cosatu would pursue internal processes to deal with the issues and was planning a protest at Sun City for this weekend.

Hawkins said: “It is a serious allegation (Phetoe) is making. I’d like Mr Phetoe to bring evidence to the fore. The individual involved is not our staff member.”

* Auditor-General Terence Nombembe’s office said it would not carry out “a special investigation” into the Gupta wedding as the DA had claimed, but would study the outcome of government probes.

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