Virgin Active South Africa — security and safety
Good Evening Dear Sir/Madam.
I am writing to you as a loyal member of the Virgin Active Group of Gyms. Our gym visit this pm turned into a bloody nightmare at the Cascades branch in Pietermaritzburg. My partner and I entered the facility separately and our intention was to train together and have a good sweat session with each other.
He recently terminated his vitality membership and today I referred him to the Sales Consultant to sign up a open roaming membership, so we can roam while we travel. Jose was very helpful as usual and he sorted his membership in less than 30 minutes.
We proceeded to the upper level to train and walked together and laughed and chatted all the way up. To our dismay we were encountered by a white gentlemen who is identified by Tristen Edmunds. This was my first time in contact with this man. He abruptly halted us with a loud voice and aggressive tone. I whispered to my partner and said let's ignore him. This man alleged that my partner had posted something about him on Facebook. My partners response "was i dont know what you talking about boss and further more i deleted Facebook" as we continued walking to our favorite spot to train biceps and arms. This man was challenging my partner Nadeem Osman to meet him outside in the parking lot after he was done. I intervened and said leave Nadeem alone. And as we started walking away, he jumped up from the Leg press machine and proceeded towards us. I went in between the two men. My intention was to cause a separation between the two and no body contact as I sensed the temper flaring from Tristin especially. Tristin tried to push himself unto me to get to Nadeem. I am still shocked and surprised that he would have no respect for a woman who pleaded to him to stop. He pushed me and wrestle to get to Nadeem. I tried my best to keep Nadeem away from this gentleman. But he head butted Nadeem and I lost my balance and Nadeem fell.
The next moment he was kicking Nadeem in the face and head. And the next thing blood was squirting and Nadeem was on the floor. I screamed for help and everyone just stood by as spectators. I even asked the gym staff on site to help. Because my fear was that he could hemerage and this man was not stopping. I could not stop this man as he was so violent and vulgar. I took Nadeems towel bag to hit him off him and distract him as I didn't know how to get him off my man. Thank goodness for that because that warded him off Nadeem.
Security came after a few minutes and they still failed to act. My concern is that the accused was still entertained by them and no form of action was taken to remove him. Until I made a noise to escort him out. You have a member bleeding profously from the mouth head and nose area and no one sees the seriousness. I fail to understand how the wellness of your members are managed in a case of emergency.
No one came with any first aid kit to the scene or anything. In fact the security asked us to be escorted out by him. I refused as my partner was bleeding and feeling weak and dizzy. I called the police and his parents to the scene of the assault. The manager on duty Lungisani was the only one that had some sense of customer service skills and care towards us. He moved us to a private office downstairs as we waited. The blood fell all over the floor as we walked down.
Subsequently to this. A white gentleman who was not involved in the altercation came up to the security while Nadeem was rinsing the blood as it was literally pouring in the sink. He was rude and arrogant insisting we be removed for what reasons I don't understand. I responded and said to him that we are leaving to wait for the police but it's not his prerogative to tell the security to remove us as we are victims to this barbaric act and my partner is hurt. He swore at me in front of those staff members and security and i firmly told him I don't care what you think because you jumping for your friend Tristen as they were all training in the same vicinity.
This man who someone identified him as Andrew Nicholson came to me again downstairs while I was talking in isizulu to Lungisani about the police that were outside. He rudely came and pointed to my face and said i want her name and Surname. I said to him what is your issue with me. He said I used vulgar language and said he is a racist. This I don't take likely because I am a born again Christian I never use any derogatory words or vulgar language. I understand the importance of communication as i am in the customer services industry and we are well groomed in how we conduct ourselves in public and at home.
He threatened to get me banned from the gym. I will not be bullied by any one. As I am a paying member and I have never had any incidents or complaints about anything prior to today.
The are camera surveillance in the gym. I will appeal to you that this footage should be viewed in order to collaborate my concerns that have been raised today.
I await your anticipated response
Jose will also confirm that I have referred clients to this facility and just today after signing up said I will send more members through. But Today I felt unsafe and had to swallow my pride on bragging rights as a proud member when the safety and security of the members were compromised
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