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Published on Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Richard Branson apologises for image in South Africa tweet

Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson has apologised for a tweet to mark the launch of a new venture in South Africa which included a photo with only white people.

Users of the social media platform criticised the photo for failing to reflect the diversity of South Africa, where the population is 80% black.

One of the critics was South African fashion designer Thula Sindi, who asked: "Where did you find so many white people in South Africa?"

A Virgin spokesperson said the image in Sir Richard's tweet did not reflect 'the diverse makeup of attendees' at the event held to launch the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship.

In the tweet, Sir Richard said: "Wonderful to be in South Africa to help launch the new Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship. We aim to become the heart of entrepreneurship for Southern Africa."

A spokesperson for Virgin said: "The tweet linked to a blog about the launch of the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship South Africa, which assists aspiring entrepreneurs of all backgrounds with the skills, opportunities and inspiration they need to succeed.

"We apologise for the poorly chosen image, but would like to emphasise that this does not reflect the diverse makeup of attendees.

"As the video, other social posts and other images of the event show, many of the diverse group of Branson Centre entrepreneurs, trustees and team were present and the image attached to that particular tweet should have reflected this too."

In a new tweet this morning, Sir Richard said: "Yesterday's choice of a photo to go with my tweet clearly lacked diversity. Apologies. I hope you will take a look at my blog which does far better justice to the amazing work of the Centre and its team."

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