Racism is once again in focus this holiday season, with a recent incident at Clarke's Bar and Dining Room in Cape Town bringing the restaurant under heavy criticism.
While some details of the incident were revealed on social media, the full details of the incident have recently been relayed by those involved in a joint statement.
The statement was released by Kenan Petersen, Chester Martinez, Lesego Ramathlare, Charlene Hendricks, Lee Sophia Piedt, Nadine Buys, Jackie Alkana, Garth Warely, Nicholas Vries, Liam Anthony and Addington Cele.
The incident occurred on December 9 when the group were at Clarke's.
"Once we settled our bill and continued to finish our drinks, a random white lady came to sit at our table uninvited," the group said.
The woman then asked the group whether everyone at the table was black, saying that she was half black.
"We were confused as she was clearly white and proceeded to ask her how she is half black. She then mentioned that she has a black brother-in-law and so that makes her half black. She even mentioned that his name is Michael so they call him Michael Jackson."
The woman was asked several times to leave the table as she was making the group uncomfortable, however she refused, the statement said.
At one point she was asked to leave again by one of the women in the group, after which the uninvited guest referred to her as "just a common coloured".
The statement said that it was at this point that things escalated. The group asked for security at the restaurant to remove the woman from their table - however they ended up being removed instead.
"One of our company specifically heard the Clarke's manager ask the Clarke's bouncer to remove the 'black girl'," they said.
This resulted in group members being "shoved" and "pushed out" of the restaurant, while the white woman was allowed to stay and finish her glass of wine, the statement said.
The incident was confirmed by the restaurant, with the owner saying the woman had said "rude and inappropriate things" to the group.
The restaurant also apologised for the "poor behaviour and communication" from security and management, but initially denied that racism was at the heart of the incident.
However the owner of the restaurant was also implicated in the incident.
"While all of this is happening, the owner was not interested in who the perpetrator was. Her only concern was to get us out of the establishment".
The group said that waitresses tried to explain the situation to Clarke's manager, pointing out that the woman was at fault, however the group was still removed.
The statement goes on to say that the bouncers threatened them with assault, with the women in the group also being threatened with violence.
They said they decided to leave out of concern for their safety. The group noted that the woman was escorted out of the street to the nearest corner.
What has Clarke's said?
iafrica.com reached out to Clarke's for a comment on the statement released by the group, however the restaurant was unable to respond by the time of publishing.
However, we took a look at what the restaurant has publically said on their Facebook page.
Despite two apologies by the restaurant, the establishment is still under fire from the public.
The first apology denied that racism was involved in the incident, however the second apology seemed to acknowledge the racial nature of the incident.
"The colour of my skin means I don't have the experience or history to clearly understand. But I'm asking as many questions as I can and opening up my world as much as I can to try and find more answers and figure out real ways to actively shift this starting from within," the owner said in the second apology.
Both apologies however have been criticised.
The first apology was criticised for not acknowledging the racism involved, while the second was seen as focusing on the owner's feelings about the situation rather than acknowledging the experience of the affected group.
The diner is also under serious criticism for removing the review system from their page following a series of one star reviews by those reacting to the incident.
"Once again, an opportunity to acknowledge and deal with racism at Clarke's has been missed. Your response is unclear on where you stand on racism," one Facebook user said on the second apology.
"What kind of apology is this? Some pity party about how stressful your life is? Do you think that this an excuse for kicking out people of colour that were victimized and abused, and protecting a solitary offending white person?" another said.
Others expressed distrust regarding the sincerity of the apology considering reviews had been disabled.
The restaurant has not responded or publicly commented on the situation since December 14, but had said that it would be holding meetings with staff and those affected.