It has come to the attention of the Committee of the Durban Undersea Club that a Mr. Wandile Mthiyane has published a petition under the heading “Exclusive Durban Club refuses entry to people of colour”. Due to its contents which include serious allegations about the club, (concerning an alleged incident which allegedly took place years ago in 2020) it is necessary to respond briefly to provide context and to reassure members and the public where necessary, that the allegations are devoid of truth.
The petition contains a number of statements made by Mr. Mthiyane which are factually incorrect. This is not the first time that Mr. Mthiyane has engaged with the club on the same spurious allegations.
In October 2022 Mr. Mthiyane launched a High Court Application out of the Durban High Court in which he made similar allegations and, inter alia, sought to have the lease agreement, which at that stage he correctly identified as being Durban Point Development Company (Pty) Ltd and the Point Water Sports Club, set aside by the Court.
Several parties were cited as Respondents in the Application including DUC, the Point Water Sports Club, the Durban Point Development Company (Pty) Ltd and the eThekwini Municipality.
The application was opposed by the majority of the Respondents including DUC and the current status of the application is that MR. MTHIYANE ON THE 15TH MARCH 2023, WITHDREW HIS APPLICATION AGAINST ALL RESPONDENTS AND TENDERED TO PAY THE COSTS OF THOSE RESPONDENTS WHO OPPOSED THE APPLICATION.
The application was withdrawn because it has no merit in law, and regrettably this means that DUC and the other Respondents are now denied the opportunity of cross-examining Mr. Mthiyane on his allegations.
Against that background, we now turn to deal with the various allegations made against DUC in the petition.
The first incorrect statement to deal with concerns his allegation that there is a lease agreement between the eThekwini Municipality and the Durban Undersea Club, which he seeks to have cancelled. This statement is factually incorrect as DUC does not have a lease with eThekweni or anybody else.
The second incorrect statement made by him is to the effect that he was denied entry to the luxurious restaurant at the Durban Undersea Club.
DUC is a multi faceted sports Club and does not have a restaurant!
The factual situation which has been made clear to him before, is that the F&B facility is run by the Point Water Sports Club, and its managers and staff, who are employed by and under the control of the PWC.
A final side issue relates to the complaint that he is not able to obtain membership of DUC for reasons set out in his petition. This is pure speculation on his part because he made absolutely no attempt to engage with the club with a view to actively seeking membership.
The club has many members who have joined the club and who were in similar circumstances to Mr. Mthiyane.
As with any sporting club in SA, there are procedures and protocols to deal with this situation and he would have been afforded the opportunity had he chosen to make an application to join. Any suggestion that an application for membership made by him would have been turned down because of his colour is rejected with the contempt that it deserves.
DUC regrets the damage caused to its image, good name and that of its members and reserves its right to claim damages against this individual.
DUC Executive Committee