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Transforming Society

Securing Rights

Restoring Dignity

Adam Catzavelos apologises for using the “k” word with reference to black South Africans in general


I Adam Catzavelos acknowledge and admit that I, on the 12th day of August 2018, made a selfie video of myself whilst on a beach on holiday in Greece where I made a racial slur, using the “k” word with reference to black South Africans in general.
When I watch the video, not by choice I may add but because in certain circumstances I have had to, for example with my lawyers, I am truly disgusted, horrified and ashamed of my behaviour. I now, more than ever, in the course of having to confront and take responsibility for my actions, which has forced me to consider deeply issues such as dignity and humanity, am acutely aware of how profoundly dehumanizing and hurtful it must be for black South Africans to be referred to by the ‘k” word with all its connotations, who a mere 24 years ago were liberated from centuries of enslavement, colonisation and subjugation and oppression.

I acknowledge what I have done and the harm it has caused first and foremost to black South Africans but also to our country, to all South Africans irrespective of race, and to my family and take full responsibility for it and hold myself accountable.
I returned to South Africa early this year on my own accord for that very purpose.

I am deeply remorseful for what I did and said and the impact on peoples’ dignity and humanity for which I apologise sincerely.
I have had to look at myself from many different angles inside and out and can assure you that I have grown as a person, and never again will I be so insensitive as to not take other people’s feelings into account.

I have already mentioned the self-loathing and shame I have felt as a result of my actions. In the course of going through the processes both in relation to the Criminal prosecution and the proceedings in the Equality Court, and in preparing this apology statement, I have become aware of the extent to which I, as a perpetrator, have damaged my own dignity and humanity. I am hopeful that in making this acknowledgement and apology I will be forgiven and be able to restore my identity as a person and my pride so that i am also able to restore my confidence and participate in all aspects of life in South Africa including the building of social cohesion.

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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