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Transforming Society

Securing Rights

Restoring Dignity

Human Rights Commission and Catzavelos reach R150K settlement

30 August 2019

The k-word offender says he’s very ashamed of himself.

The South African Human Rights Commission has reached a settlement with businessman Adam Catzavelos in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court of R150,000.
He will pay it off over 30 months.
Catzavelos, who self-recorded a video in which he made racist remarks, has agreed to pay damages in the amount of R150,000 which will be paid to a charity that promotes social cohesion, non-racialism, social injustice and reconciliation in Soweto named the Seth Mazibuko Legacy Foundation.
While holidaying on a beach in Greece, Catzavelos made racist comments about the lack of black people in his surroundings.

“Not one k***r in sight. F*king heaven on earth… You cannot beat this!” he said in the video.
The businessman appeared in court where he was expected to read his apology to the SAHRC.
In the apology letter, Catzavelos admits to having made a racial slur on August 12, 2018.
“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, I am acutely aware of how profoundly dehumanising and hurtful it must be for black South African’s to be referred to by the K-word with all its connotations, who a mere 24 [sic] years ago were liberated from centuries of enslavement, colonisation and subjugation and oppression.”
Earlier this month, the SAHRC offered Catzavelos a settlement of a R200,000 fine and an apology.
“We are claiming R200,000 and we can’t settle for anything less that R200,000, and we used the precedent in the Angelo Agrizzi case and in another matter in Springs in which the commission assisted a farmworker,” said SAHRC Gauteng chairperson Buang Jones.
The organisation gave Catzavelos time to consider the offer until the Equality Court case, which the SAHRC took to court, proceeded.
Catzavelos also appeared for a crimen injuria case in another courtroom in the same court earlier on Thursday morning.
In that case, the State revealed that Catzavelos’ representation to the Gauteng Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to not be prosecuted were unsuccessful.
His lawyer, Lawley Shain, informed the court that he intended to take the decision on review and was waiting for the outcome from National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Shamila Batohi.
“We do not agree with the decision and we have since made representations to the NDPP and we will await for that outcome,” he said.
The matter has been postponed to October 2.
He has also been summonsed for the matter in Greece, News24 reported earlier.
He is expected to face charges there relating to the “intention to publicly – via internet – incite, provoke, excite or [encourage] acts or actions which may cause discrimination, hatred or violence against a person or group; or persons identified by race, colour, religion, genealogy, national or ethnic origin, gender; or threatens the lives or freedom of such persons”, his lawyer explained to the media.

Source: The Citizen

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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