A restaurant bill, marked with the words "2 blacks" have reignited outrage over alleged racism at restaurants in Cape Town.
On Monday morning‚ Sivuyile Madikana‚ who was voted SA Medical Association's Junior Doctor of the Year last month‚ posted a photo on Twitter of a bill from Clifton's The Bungalow‚ on which the words "2 BLACKS" were printed. Along with the photo Madikana tweeted: "Wow. Just Wow. Cape Town never loved any of us. And I actually used to like this place — The Bungalow in Clifton."
Madikana has since deleted the tweet.
The patron who received the bill‚ Scott Maqetuka‚ tweeted: The Bungalow in Clifton still sees us by the colour of our skin."
— Scott (@Scott_Maq) December 18, 2016
The upmarket restaurant is part-owned by Chris Coutroulis‚ the owner of Sandton nightclub Taboo and husband of former Miss South Africa Vanessa Carreira, Times Media reported on Tuesday.
The Bungalow — part of The Kove Collection — put out a statement saying that its system was to identify customers by table numbers only. "This was the act of one employee‚ and an internal investigation is taking place‚ and procedures put into place to ensure that this does not happen again.
"No offence was intended — we apologise unreservedly. The Bungalow has a clear policy of non-discrimination on the basis of gender‚ race‚ religion or sexual orientation."
Maqetuka however found the tweeted apology wanting.
"I do not accept your apology‚" he tweeted. "You failed to contact me directly as an offended patron."
@KoveCollection I had to hear from a journalist on how you plan to handle this incident. No apology/communication to the offended patron.— Scott (@Scott_Maq) December 19, 2016
The waiter at the centre of the storm was due to report for duty on Monday evening, Times Media reported. A restaurant spokesperson told the publication the waiter would not lose his job.
Cape Town restaurants have repeatedly been the centre of allegations of racism, with anecdotal evidence constantly surfacing of black people being denied tables which their white counterparts easily get. It has even led one columnist to create a safe list for black diners where they could be sure to receive a welcome.
The incident follows hot on the heels of a racist Facebook rant over Durban's crowded beaches, by Ben Sasonof on the weekend. The post echoed Penny Sparrow's similarly-themed rant on the social media network last year this time.
Sipho Hlongwane, Huffington Post South Africa blogs editor, has written that these incidents are simply symptoms of structural racism that exists in South African society, and not isolated incidents.
"Racism is a structure that exists all year round, and examples of it happen all of the time. (Maybe if you believed your black colleagues every time they complained about it, you wouldn't be so surprised by Penny Sparrow, eh?)," wrote Hlongwane. "We only happen to notice it more during this time because more people are daytime drinking and browsing through their Facebook, most likely in an attempt to distract themselves from the presence of some insufferable family member."
Read the rest of Hlongwane's post here: Dezemba Is Always Going To Be A Little Racist. Here's Why.
A previous version of this article incorrectly noted that Sivuyile Madikana was one of the patrons at the restaurant. This was corrected on December 21, 2016. We apologise for the error.