K-word passenger apologises and blames schooling for racist rant

Human Rights activist and retired Bishop Rubin Phillip held a mediation between Alochna Moodley and Reverend Solumuzi Mabuza.
Human Rights activist and retired Bishop Rubin Phillip held a mediation between Alochna Moodley and Reverend Solumuzi Mabuza.
Image: JACKIE CLAUSEN

An "unsavoury passenger" who was removed from a Kulula flight after calling the captain and her fellow passenger the k-word‚ has apologised‚ blaming her racist rant on apartheid education.

Caloocan Moodley's racist electronic rant to her fiancé two weeks ago sparked outrage and prompted a debate about how South African Indians treat Africans.

Her fellow passenger‚ Reverend Solumuzi Mabuza‚ was the person who called out the Midrand woman for using the k-word. Moodley‚ 26‚ who was subsequently removed from the Kulula flight from Johannesburg's OR Tambo to King Shaka airport in Durban two weeks ago‚ initially told the Sowetan that she had used the slur out of frustration.

After she was thrown off the flight‚ Moodley was subsequently fired from her job at a engineering manufacturing company and she moved to Durban to live with her family.

In a first-time mediation meeting between Mabuza and Moodley‚ hosted by well known anti-apartheid activist and religious leader Bishop Rubin Phillip on Tuesday‚ Moodley apologised for her post.

She said: “My school curriculum did not teach me of the atrocities of apartheid. Any mention of it was in passing without the details of the oppression‚ especially of black people in this country.” In her apology‚ an emotional Moodley said: “During this time of introspection I have made enquiries as to why this word is so offensive. I am appalled.” Moodley said the reason she had waited so long to issue her apology was that she did not want the social media outrage to drown out her apology. She said she also wanted to wait until the situation had quietened down before issuing her apology.

Mabuza said that although he forgave Moodley for her use of the racial slur it was necessary for this issue to go to court.

He opened a case of crimen injuria against Moodley at the Kempton Park police station.

“The legislatures in this country need to think carefully about how you root this out in terms of legislation‚” he said.

“If you don't go to a court of law where legal minds get to go through the case‚ then you are not solving the problem‚” he added.

Moodley has said that she was willing to educate herself more about black South Africans in this country‚ with Phillip offering to help her do so.

“Learning will not take place in a comfortable space like this‚ it will happen through meeting God's people in the townships‚” Phillip said.

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