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Richard Branson apologises for all-white photo in South Africa

Nov 13 2019 11:10

Billionaire founder of the Virgin group of companies, Richard Branson, has apologised for a photo tweeted from his Twitter account following the launch of his new centre for entrepreneurship in South Africa. 

The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship will assist a select group of entrepreneurs with dedicated project managers to help grow their businesses, and it will also provide administration, finance and legal functions to participants.

Some of the entrepreneurs already supported by the centre include Lolo Ndlovu, who provides sneaker-cleaning services, and I Love Coffee, a coffee-shop franchise that employs people who are hearing-impaired.


The centre was officially launched at an event held at Virgin's wine farm, Mont Rochelle near Franschhoek.

Branson tweeted this photo following the event: 

The fact that an all-white group was featured on the photo received a heated response on local social media:

On Tuesday evening, Branson tweeted an apology for the lack of diversity in the photo:

New controversy

Fresh from the debate in South Africa, Branson moved on to more controversy Down Under.

On Tuesday, he told the Sydney Morning Herald that the Australian government should fight climate change by stopping the use of coal, and halting coal exports to China. 

His remarks sparked a torrent of criticism, with the Sky News television presenter Rita Panahi dubbing Branson - whose group runs planes, trains and a new launched cruise line, all of which are considerable polluters - “the world’s biggest hypocrite”.

Compiled by Helena Wasserman

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