Virgin Active SA comes under fire over handling of rape incident

File picture: Thobile Mathonsi

File picture: Thobile Mathonsi

Published Nov 15, 2018


Johannesburg - Virgin Active South Africa on Thursday confirmed the suspension of one of its employees after a rape allegation was levelled against him. 

This comes after the company came under fire for allegedly failing to act against the accused or offer protection to the victim. 

On Wednesday, a series of tweets were posted by popular parody account “Man’s Not Barry Roux” on the alleged incident and the company's failure to act against the accused despite a police investigation.

Virgin Active SA responded to these claims, saying it took rape allegations seriously and that the matter was now before the police. 

Later the company posted a statement on Twitter confirming that a rape case had been opened against one of its workers by a fellow employee. 

"A case of rape has been opened by a Virgin Active employee against a colleague at one of our clubs in Johannesburg following an alleged attack at her home. 

"The victim has our full support and we have been in close contact and consultation with her and her family to ensure she has the assistance she requires. There is no expectation that she returns to work until she feels ready. A transfer to another club was given as an option and accepted by her."

Virgin Active confirmed that the suspect was arrested and released from police custody but was suspended indefinitely pending the outcome of a police investigation.

— Virgin Active (@virginactiveSA) November 15, 2018

They added that the suspect is not allowed at any of their facilities.

Spokesperson Captain Balan Muthan confirmed that a rape case had been opened on November 3 at the Honeydew Police Station. 

"A suspect was arrested and appeared in court on November 14 where he was charged with rape," he said. 

He added that the case had been handed over to the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) unit. 

Virgin Active SA could not be reached for comment at the time of publishing. 


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