Joburg’s Babylon bar the scene of racist hate speech attack


Babylon bar in full swing (Pic: Facebook)

Muzi Twala still cannot believe that he was verbally attacked at the Babylon gay bar in Johannesburg, in an incident that’s highlighted the scourge of racism within the LGBTQ community.

The 29-year-old said he’ll no longer be going back to what used to be his favourite spot in Illovo, after he claims he was racially insulted and called the “K” word in a hate speech incident while standing in a queue, by two white people who were trying to push in.

“I was with a friend, I am not sure what the time was, but we were third in line from the entrance, and some guys wanted to cut the line. One of the guys saw me and said, “He is the reason for long queue, this K*ffir,” Twala recalled the event that happened about two weeks ago.

Twala said that the two white men who referred to him with the “K” word were not even hiding the fact that they were directly talking about him. Twala claims that his friend tried to report the incident to the bouncer, but was ignored.

“The guys just paid and walked in before us. We even tried to report to the ladies at the door [who were selling tickets] but they just looked at us like we were crazy.” After unsuccessfully trying to get the club to take some sort of action over the racial attack, Twala and his friends said they left the venue because they didn’t want to go in anymore.

“This was not the first time going to Babylon, however, this was the first racial incident I have encountered. That is why I was taken aback by it. I am never going back there again,” Twala said.

“I wish security or the ladies said something or tried to stop them, but they literally looked at us like we were crazy,” he added.

Bradley Cilliers of Babylon said he was deeply shocked and sorry about this incident and would like to sincerely apologise to Twala. “Babylon has been running for seven years in Illovo and we have never had a complaint or incident like this. We pride ourselves in our firm stance against racism and discrimination for that matter,” he commented in a response to Mambaonline.

Cilliers also said that the venue will try as much as possible to follow up and look into the incident.

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