Johannesburg – Minister of Arts and Culture Nati Mithua drew on Friday to apologize Thando Mahlangu for the humiliation suffered when the guards prevented him from boarding the train just because he was dressed in the traditional debutil.
34-year-old cultural activist Ndebele and writer said he was recently forbidden to board Gautrain because his traditional uniform was considered inappropriate. He complained that his unpleasant experience not only cost him a business opportunity but left him to feel humiliated.
Mthethwa said, "I have the good power that Mahlangu has not yet been apologized for, and it is my expectation that GMA personally would apologize to him and actually show that what had happened to him should never have happened."
Initially, the Gautrain administration accused overcrowded guard at Park Station of anomaly. It has since been revealed that the guards referred the matter to train officers who agreed with them that Mahlangu was "inappropriately dressed" and could not be allowed to board.
The minister said Gautrain's administration should also say that it fully supports passenger freedom and will "now try to actively promote the constitution in supporting and protecting the heritage and culture of its peoples."
Mthethwa added: "What Mahlangu has known is shameful and sad and there can be no excuse for it, but it happened."
Mthethwa said he would consult Transport Minister Dr. Blade Nzimande to ensure that GMA is held "responsible" and that he will not escape by insulting Mahlangu's dignity and violating his rights.