Two local companies – Cresta Marakanelo Limited, a hospitality group and telecommunications company, Kwese TV were early this week forced to defend their brands after an alleged “racism” incident that happened in one of the Cresta owned hotels located in Jwaneng.
The racism allegations comes hardly a few weeks after Kwese TV and Cresta announced a partnership in which soccer spectators are treated to a big screen viewing of the ongoing FIFA World Cup at Cresta Hotels as broadcast by Kwese TV.
Over the weekend, the internet almost broke after information leaked suggesting that the two companies connived to keep dark skinned Batswana away from Jwaneng Cresta for the weekend.
The Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) quoted hotelier on Monday released a statement saying that it has begun an investigation on shocking allegations that together with Kwese TV they “blocked” some locals regarded as “dark skinned” from accessing accommodation at the Cresta Jwaneng Hotel.
The incident is alleged to have happened at the time when Jwaneng town was a host to the just ended annual Kalahari 1000km desert.
“We have been drawn to the attention of an incident that happened in Cresta Jwaneng on the 23rd June 2018 that has led to some undesirable comments being made about Cresta Hotels on social media platforms. We have since commenced an investigation in to the matter, to assess the issue in its entirety,” read part of the Cresta Marakanelo Limited statement.
Cresta Jwaneng operated its first full year in 2015 as a Cresta hotel and contributed 4.8 percent to overall revenue growth for the company during that year.
Cresta bought the then Cezar Hotel in the mining town of Jwaneng and rebranded the facility to the now Cresta Jwaneng Hotel in a bid to tap into the market in the area and target traffic using the Trans Kalahari Highway.
On the other hand, Kwese TV, a relatively newcomer in the local market denied the occurrence of the incident saying that it has not been furnished with evidence that shows that indeed such happened.
“Kwese TV has not been aware of any evidence to suggest otherwise. As a pan-African brand, we are built on a diverse and inclusive culture that fully respects and recognises the uniqueness of individuals independent of race, gender and social class,” noted Kwese TV.
The alleged incident did not settle well with some of Batswana as they raised some opinions in various social media platform.
Refilwe Fifih Mmeko: I have had that experience there as I was asked to move from a room so that a white person can get in, they even threatened to throw my things out!imagine this happening late around 8 pm, I refused and told them that if it is possible we will rather share ,I am not moving, I slept like a baby, do not know where the ‘white person’ was accommodated.
Elvis Elvy Bestpoet: Tshekedi killed us here, ever since he bought shares at Cresta, things got tensed and it’s because of him no one else, and I won’t blame anyone on that but him alone
Motshedisi Mpolokang: We need a full inquest and a full report by the government in connection with this matter. Otherwise lives will be proven to be in the wrong hands if this falls into deaf ears.