Update: Solms Delta feels Twitter’s wrath after ‘racial profiling’ incident

Update, 31 May: Solms Delta has released an official statement about the event, refuting allegations of racism. The estate claims that the staff involved were black, and therefore could not have racially profiled.

Users on Twitter and Facebook were not appeased by the statement.

Original article: Nodumo Dee Mhlongo has sparked outrage on Twitter after posting a thread unveiling an “horrific experience” at Solms Delta wine estate in Franschhoek Saturday.

According to Mhlongo, she and a friend were visiting the estate an hour before its website said it would close. But when they got there, they were initially turned away.

Another “gentleman” offered to conduct the tasting, and the two were escorted to the tasting room. While they were “thoroughly enjoying the experience,” police showed up.

Eventually Mhlongo realised they were there for her.

According to the thread, the young woman was asked to enter a separate room because she was under investigation. In the thread, Mhlongo describes a time of immense confusion and fear, in which she was searched and spoken over loudly in Afrikaans.

Solms Delta began trending in South Africa on Monday for all the wrong reasons

The patron subsequently learned that an employee had identified her as a woman who had been stealing bags from both the estate and Canal Walk Shopping Centre. When she asked where the evidence was, Solms Delta’s manager told her there was CCTV footage.

The alleged footage was nowhere to be found, and the employee who had identified her had left.

The thread’s top tweet has been retweeted 192 times, and has garnered a lot of support from the online community. 

Solms Delta issued a statement to Twitter Monday morning, claiming that they aim for transformation and empowerment of staff.

According to its website, the estate “facilitates the sharing of land and equity in the business with [its workers].”

By 11am Monday morning, the estate was trending in Johannesburg.

Mhlongo’s story isn’t dissimilar to an incident last year that saw Cape Town restaurant Clarke’s under fire for alleged racial profiling. After being removed from the premises for no apparent reason, Nicholas Vries took to Facebook to express his disdain for the establishment. Clarke’s eventually apologised, but many still do not believe its version of events.

We have reached out to both Mhlongo and Solms-Delta for further comment.



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