A LIMPOPO holiday resort has come under fire from the SA Human Rights Commission for allowing only whites onto the property. On two occasions in two weeks, the Lekkerrus Holiday Resort, near Mookgopong, formerly Naboomspruit, refused blacks entry.
Earlier this month, Adam Morgan and his family were turned away from the resort – which features swimming pools, hiking trails, hot springs, a putt-putt course, and water slides – allegedly because they are coloured.
“I was absolutely disgusted. You don’t expect such things 17 years into a democratic South Africa. What was the struggle for?” said a still-irate Morgan yesterday.
The fair-skinned father of two said he and his family had been holidaying at a nearby resort and wanted to spend a day in Lekkerrus’s warm mineral springs.
“We asked to do a day trip. The security [guard] at first agreed but, when he realised my family was coloured, he at first said it was for members only, then that only whites were allowed,” Morgan said.
A resort brochure lists the price for a day visit – up to R40 a head – but mentions nothing about admission being reserved for members.
An black employee at the resort told Morgan that workers were not allowed to speak to, or come into contact with, guests.
“If they are not prepared to be open to everyone, they should not be allowed to operate,” Morgan said.
Human Rights Commission spokesman Vincent Moaga yesterday said racism was “still a major problem and a challenge for the country”.
“We have to confront this. We are concerned that such resorts still exist,” said Moaga.
He said such incidents proved that a lot of work still needed to be done to root out racism.
Moaga urged anyone who suffered discrimination at a resort to complain to the commission or the equality courts.
In 2005, the commission ruled against another “whites only” resort for refusing entry to a white family that had adopted a black child. Following several complaints by guests and workers, Broederstroom Vakansie-Oord, near Hartbeespoort Dam, in North West, was fined R10000.
On Monday, two Times reporters, one black, the other coloured, were told that because they were not members of the Limpopo resort’s club they could not enter Lekkerrus.
Even though the reporters said they were at the gate and could complete membership application forms immediately, a receptionist, who identified herself as “Angela”, said she would fax the application forms to them and refused to allow them in.
But a white photographer accompanying the reporters was allowed in to complete the forms.
Four cars with white occupants drove into the resort without any inspection of membership credentials while the reporters were on the phone to the reception staff.
The manager of a nearby resort, who asked not be named, said he frequently admitted black tourists who had been turned away by Lekkerrus.
“This racism thing there has been going on forever. Some people would come here in tears … they would be so angry from the treatment from those people,” he said.
Lekkerrus manager André Volschoon yesterday denied that his was a “whites only” resort, claiming anyone could apply for membership.
“It is untrue – the resort is open to members only,” he said.
Volschoon, however, could not provide any numbers or details of black members. He did say that anyone interested in becoming a member had to complete an application form, which would be scrutinised by a board of trustees for approval.
Volschoon was adamant that the club’s constitution did not prohibit the entry of blacks, but said application forms had to be accompanied by a copy of the applicant’s identity document and had to be endorsed by an existing member, after which it would be considered.
He said there was a waiting list but could not say if it included black applicants.