Anele Mdoda has publicly called out Virgin Active Health Clubs after they withdrew their case against a man who was caught masturbating on camera in one of their gyms
A video of an 18-year-old man went viral in May after social media users noted that he appeared to be fondling his private parts in full view of other gym members. Many suspected that the patron was masturbating after being aroused by a nearby female gym member who was in the middle of a workout.
The incident took place at a Virgin Active gym in Stellenbosch and once the video found its way online, the nation reacted angrily and demanded that the gym franchise take action.
For a month it looked as if they had; the young man was due to appear at the Stellenbosch Magistrate’s court on the 13th of June to face charges of s-e-xual assault which had been filed by the gym owners.
However, to the surprise of many, Virgin Active withdrew the charges on Thursday afternoon and Anele Mdoda (along with the rest of the country) wants answers
Their spokesperson Carla White, offered an explanation to the media when she suggested that psychological, rather than criminal action, was needed in this case.
She said, ‘’We took immediate action when we were presented with the video, identifying and banning the member for life.
“What he did was wrong, however we are of the opinion that psychological help may be more appropriate than criminal sanction. We have an undertaking from his lawyer and family that he is receiving counselling and will continue with this course of therapy.
Anele was not satisfied with the statement and immediately took to Twitter to call out the gym franchise for not taking further action against the teenager for what was deemed to be a lewd and highly inappropriate act.
It began when she shared a tweet from a disgruntled gym-goer who was not impressed with Virgin Active’s decision to treat the teenager’s mental health; before she called out their official Twitter account.
The Virgin Active South African Twitter account has been fielding questions (and criticism!) ever since they released their statement on Thursday, but they have yet to respond to Anele’s public inquiry at the time of writing.
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