Australia

Adelaide nightclub accused of 'racial profiling' after turning away patron

Luckson Guvamatanga says he and his two friends were turned away from an Adelaide nightclub because of their skin colour. Source: Facebook

A Zimbabwean man says he and two friends were 'racially profiled' when they were turned away from a nightclub in Adelaide.

A Zimbabwean man who arrived in Australia two months ago says he was shocked and 'disgusted' by his treatment at a nightclub in Adelaide.

Luckson Guvamatanga said he and his two friends, who are also of African cultural heritage, were refused entry to the Signature Lounge nightclub by management.

"[We] weren't drunk or rowdy ... Only us (the black guys) everyone else was allowed in," he wrote in a Facebook post that has attracted more than 230 comments.

"Feel disgusted to be honest." 

Luckson Guvamatanga says he is sharing his story to highlight the issue of racial profiling.
Luckson Guvamatanga says he is sharing his story to highlight the issue of racial profiling.
Facebook

Mr Guvamatanga said he was shocked by the treatment, saying it was his first experience with racism in Australia after living in Zimbabwe and then living in England for 17 years.

"Not once did I experience racism [in those places]," he said.

He said his experiences in the army and tough periods growing up in Africa and moving away from Africa still hadn't prepared him for what he encountered.

Mr Guvamatanga said he tried to communicate with the bouncer that he and his friends were quietly waiting in line like everyone else, to which a staff member replied: "People like you tend to cause trouble".

The Adelaide Advertiser reports that a representative from the Signature Lounge nightclub contacted Mr Guvamatanga to apologise.

In a message sent on Facebook, Shaine Iglesias attempted to defend the nightclub's treatment of patrons who had darker skin.

The message allegedly claimed the club was the "most multicultural background (venue) on Hindley St", according to the message supplied by Mr Guvamatanga.

"We sincerely apologise about your bad experience. I would like to personally look after you and your friends ... no one should be able to have felt that kind of way."

The message also said it had plenty of patrons from different cultural backgrounds. "[The] majority of our crowd is of Aboriginal heritage".

Mr Iglesias has since deleted his Facebook account.

The South Australian Equal Opportunity has urged Mr Guvamatanga to file a complaint of unlawful discrimination on the basis of race.

If the complaint is found to be covered under the state's equal opportunity law, a conciliation conference can be facilitated to resolve the issue and if no agreement is reached, the complaint can be referred to the South Australian Employment Tribunal.

SBS News has reached out to the Signature Lounge nightclub for comment.

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