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Angelo Agrizzi apologises for using racist slur

27 June 2019

The former Bosasa CEO will pay R200,000 to the Barney Mokgatle Foundation in Alexandra, after using the k-word in a recorded audio clip played at the state capture commission
Former Bosasa CEO Angelo Agrizzi will pay R200,000 to the Barney Mokgatle Foundation following his use of the k-word in a recorded audio clip played at the state capture commission of inquiry earlier in 2019. Picture: ALAISTER RUSSELL
“I'm really sorry, because the wounds are still raw, and for me to have been one of the people to rub salt in those wounds was despicable,” state capture whistle-blower Angelo Agrizzi said on Thursday.
The former Bosasa CEO will pay R200,000 to the Barney Mokgatle Foundation in Alexandra, Johannesburg, following his use of the k-word in a recorded audio clip played during his testimony at the state capture commission of inquiry earlier in 2019.
Agrizzi's testimony at that inquiry placed Bosasa, which is now named African Global Operations, at the centre of a web of bribery and corruption involving state figures, including former ministers and senior National Prosecuting Authority officials.
Agrizzi's comments on his use of the racist term comes after he and the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) agreed on a settlement during a meeting on June 13. The settlement was made in a court order on Thursday by the Equality Court, sitting at the Randburg Magistrate's Court.
As part of the deal, Agrizzi also agreed to issue a public apology, to be published on the SAHRC's website. The SAHRC had intended to bring a claim of discrimination and hate speech against Agrizzi.
At the state capture inquiry, Agrizzi testified that his comments were directed at Bosasa colleagues Joe Gumede and Papa Leshabane.
“I’m embarrassed of myself‚ I’m ashamed of myself for ever doing that … I am a racist. Judge me on that. I have admitted it and I am sorry‚” Agrizzi said at the time.
Speaking outside court on Thursday, SAHRC Gauteng manager Buang Jones said use of the k-word was “intentionally hateful and disparaging”.
“We see [the settlement] as a restorative measure. We see this as one South African wanting to contribute to the betterment of our society.”
Agrizzi ad-libbed his apology outside court, because “one cannot read an apology if it's sincere”.
“The apology is from the heart. We have a beautiful country. We cannot have South Africans, like myself, going out there and using derogatory [language], and using the k-word or anything derogatory,” said Agrizzi.
Barney Mokgatle, from the foundation that will receive the donation from Agrizzi, said: “Our parents suffered under the apartheid system using the k-word. When one sinner repents, angels sing glory in heaven. In those words, I'm asking South Africans to open their hearts to have an open place where they can forgive”.

Source: Business Day

The South African Human Rights Commission.

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The Human Rights Commission is the national institution established to support constitutional democracy. It is committed to promote respect for, observance of and protection of human rights for everyone without fear or favour.

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