South African Minister ‘Embroiled In Row With Air Hostess’

Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Lulu Xingwana

South Africa’s Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, allegedly got into a heated row with an air hostess who she accused of refusing to upgrade her from economy to business class on a flight because she was a “kaffir” (black).
The incident occurred on a South African Airways flight from Ghana to Johannesburg when the minister was returning home from a government trip.
A fellow passenger told how Lulu Xingwana yelled at a white air hostess who was telling her that business class was full: “Shut up! Shut up! Is it because I’m a kaffir?”
“The minister was like a naughty child,” the unnamed passenger told Afrikaans newspaper Rapport.
“I was shocked and embarrassed. It is a national minister.” Dilesang Koetle, a SAA spokesman, confirmed the incident and apologised for being unable to upgrade the minister.
Cornelius Tanana Monama, Xingwana’s spokesperson denied that the minister had shouted at anyone or that she had used the k-word.
“As a Platinum Card holder, the minister was asking politely if she could be upgraded to business class and was shocked by the rude and disrespectful attitude she received from the SAA official,” he said.”The minister is shocked by these lies and fabrications by a so-called witness.” Mrs Xingwana is not the first South African minister to run into problems with the airlines.
Last year, staff for Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, South Africa’s Foreign Minister, had to book a ¬£20,000 private jet when she refused to let Oslo airport security x-ray her handbag. Norwegian airport officials said that even their prime minister submits to security checks, but Mrs Nkoana-Mashabane said she should have diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Convention.

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