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South Africa's Indian family guests in race row

May 04, 2013 01:10 IST

The row surrounding a lavish Indian wedding in South Africa on Friday got mired in another controversy after a labour union alleged "racism at its worst" against some guests attending the event.

The Congress of South African Trade unions (Cosatu) is "informed that the family does not want to be served by the African staff members who are employed in the resort", the union said in a statement on Friday.

The wealthy and politically connected the Gupta family triggered a storm of fury when a plane carrying wedding guests from Indian landed at the Waterkoof Air Force Base,  allegedly bypassing customs procedures.

"The guests demand that their services must be rendered by white personnel, starting from the cleaning of their rooms, the cooking and the drivers of the shuttles they use," it alleged in the statement.

"Cosatu has been informed that the family is under police protection while they are at the resort and all their trips have police escorts using state vehicles."

"For us as Cosatu this is racism at its worst and this cannot be allowed to continue to take place in a country where racism is a crime. At Sun City our members have been facing racial attitudes from some of the service providers such as the 24/7 security company with which we have an outstanding case, as we have with Sun City," the union said,  quoted by the Independent Online.

Gupta wedding spokesman Haranath Ghosh, however, denied the family was using police escorts during the four-day wedding extravaganza. Earlier in the day, South African government suspended four senior defence and police officials over raging scandal.

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