'The crew was under pressure'- British Airways on alleged Black Motion racist incident

08 December 2017 - 10:21 By Karishma Thakurdin
British Airways has concluded its investigation into an alleged racist incident involving Black Motion.
British Airways has concluded its investigation into an alleged racist incident involving Black Motion.
Image: Via Instagram

Following an internal investigation into allegations of racism leveled against British Airways crew by music group, Black Motion, the airline has admitted that staff members should have handled the situation better. 

Accusations of racism came to light earlier this week after group members Thabo "Smol" Mabogwane and Bongani "Murdah" Mohosana were singled out to move from their business class seats to accommodate a white passenger who complained that her seat was broken. 

After a heated exchange between the air hostess and the duo, Mabogwane and Mohosana were allegedly told the captain was having them removed to avoid a "911" situation. 

In a statement issued on Thursday, British Airways said that the duo were downgraded because they weren't frequent flyer members, and that Comair's CEO had written a letter apologising "unreservedly for the hurt" the incident caused. 

The statement explained that two passengers were checked-into seats that were broken, and could not fly in.

"These customers were both silver card frequent flyer members, who are prioritised as a matter of global policy," said Comair's Shaun Pozyn. 

Pozyn said that staff identified non-frequent flyers who were traveling on discounted business class fares, which was apparently the basis that Mabogwane and Mohosana were approached to move. 

"Understandably they were upset. The crew was under pressure because the flight was already delayed, but should have handled the situation better. We have asked the customers if they would like the investigation independently reviewed," added Pozyn. 

Earlier this week, the group's manager, Tshiamo Kodisang told TshisaLIVE that they were disappointed by the incident and were investigating their legal options. 

"Both of the guys were in shock and really felt embarrassed after the whole incident. They were shocked that the colour of their skin could subject them to such treatment in 2017. Even now, they are very much angry and honestly disappointed about the whole incident."