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South African charged over viral racist rant

By Pumza Fihlani

South African Businessman Adam Catzavelos has been charged in court with the willful injury to someone’s dignity after a video of a racist rant leaked.

Adam Catzavelos appears in the Randburg Magistrate Court on 28 May 2019. Picture: EWN
Adam Catzavelos appears in the Randburg Magistrate Court on 28 May 2019. Picture: EWN

He made his first appearance in the Randburg Magistrates Court in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

The last person sentenced on a similar charges, Vicky Momberg who called black people monkeys, was sentenced to three years in jail last year.

Mr Catzavelos made headlines last year, after a video of him on holiday in Greece went viral on local social media.

He had filmed himself on a beach, saying it was “heaven on earth” as there were no black people there.

In the video, he said a derogatory term used historically by white people to denigrate black South Africans.

Racism remains a major issue in South Africa, where white-minority rule ended in 1994.

Mr Catzavelos had sent the video to a WhatsApp group of friends and it was then leaked. He was sacked from his family business and his family said at the time that they were shocked.

He then released a statement apologising, saying he had “shown a complete lack of understanding” of what the people in South Africa had endured and would spend the rest of his life repenting for his “total lack of respect and judgement”.

He has not pleaded and the case will resume on 13 June. BBC News

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