The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation today said racist offenders should face jail sentences, following a video posted on social media in which a Johannesburg man, Adam Catzavelos, makes use of the k-word.
The Foundation’s executive director, Neeshan Balton, said racism remained an ongoing problem in the country.
“Nothing should take from the level of outrage and disgust that we should express following an incident of this nature. We will be filing a complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission with a request that this case be taken up through the Equality Courts, and we would urge the state to pursue criminal charges against this man. The Vicki Momberg case has set a precedent,” Balton said.
“If anything, the Catzavelos case reminds us just how deeply entrenched racial attitudes are and that fighting racism requires dedicated focus across all sectors of society and across all fronts. It is up to us to ensure that people like Catzavelos are called out in order for them to face the consequences of their racism.”
Convicted racist Momberg was sentenced to three years in prison with one year suspended in March and was previously denied leave to appeal. Earlier this month, she was granted bail pending leave to appeal her conviction and sentence by the Randburg Magistrate’s Court. The matter was postponed to November 5.
In 2016, she was caught on camera using the k-word 48 times to a police officer who was trying to assist her after she was involved in an alleged smash and grab incident.
On Tuesday, a video of Catzavelos, who was holidaying in what reportedly seems to be Greece, shared the following sentiments: “Let me give you a weather forecast here. Blue skies, beautiful day, amazing sea and not one ‘k***’ in sight…”
Responding to the video, Balton said that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white. He said that if Catzavelos was not prepared to live under “this edict of our Constitution”, then maybe he should go and find some “enclave where his racism will be tolerated”.
Balton said that unlike during apartheid, South Africa and its beaches are open to everyone.
“We want to tell Catzavelos, that perhaps he should remain in what he describes in his video as heaven on earth… We really don’t require racists like Catzavelos in our public spaces,” Balton said.
“In the past, we’ve had half-hearted apologies and all sorts of excuses. We refuse to accept this any longer!” he concluded.
– African News Agency (ANA)