S.A. hotel Radisson Blu Hotel cancel's Mnangagwa's booking fearing protests from Tajamuka

6 years ago
Mon, 26 Jun 2017 12:57:46 GMT
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S.A. hotel Radisson Blu Hotel cancel's Mnangagwa's booking fearing protests from Tajamuka

South Africa’s luxurious Radisson Blu Hotel Sandton last week cancelled bookings for a delegation of Zimbabwean ministers which was led by Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa. The ministers had gone to attend a two-day investment conference hosted by Zim-SA Forum. The hotel confirmed the incident saying that the cancellation was due to safety concerns. Local activist group Tajamuka had threatened to protest against Mnangagwa at the conference.

On Monday, Radisson Blu Sandton general manager, Volkan Vural said:

The Radisson Blu Sandton declined hosting the Zimbabwean delegation due to security and protest concerns at the hotel. We have an obligation to ensure the safety of our in-house guests.

We met with the Zimbabwean delegation organisers to relay this information to them. While it was communicated at short notice, there was no ill intention towards the Zimbabwean delegation. The safety of our in-house guests will always remain our first priority.

However, the organisers of the conference accused Radisson Blu of being politically and racially biased. Anele Ndlovu, president of the Zim-SA Forum said:

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We had told them upfront that it was the VP coming, not President Mugabe. Yes, we had received information that there could be a strike from a small group called #Tajamuka. We did not hide this information from them, we conveyed it in advance to their security manager, Marthinus Baumbach. Remember this is a hotel which prides itself on hosting people like Barack Obama, George Bush, many top world leaders, including some from this continent…

That was very unprofessional and unethical of the Radisson Blu. They became threatened by the presence of a few Zimbabweans [protesters], who would come and not even throw stones. That is how we ended up at the Capital Hotel Sandton, though some of our guests who had already checked in remained at Radisson. We were welcomed with open arms at the Capital, finding space in their hotels around Sandton. We had a full delegation of over 80 people representing the Zimbabwean government – eight ministers included

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