The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has offered k-word ranter Adam Catzavelos a settlement – pay a R200,000 fine and apologise.
“We have submitted a settlement proposal. This was done on August 1. We gave them until today to come to us. They have agreed with most clauses in terms of the agreement. They only have two issues – restraining Catzavelos from making racist utterances in the future and the damages claim.
“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, proceeds.
Earlier on Monday, Magistrate Naren Sewnarain recused himself from the case after Jones, which represents the SAHRC, launched a recusal application. Jones argued that the commission, as complainants in the case, wanted Sewnarain removed because of close ties with Catzavelos’ lawyer, Lawley Shein.
Sewnarain confirmed in court that he worked with Shein about 10 years ago and would recuse himself from the matter.
He promised that a new magistrate would take over.
“We agreed that a new date [would] be set wherein a magistrate must take over the case. It is a legal principle that in adjudicating matters, there should not be any reasonable apprehension of bias on the part of the presiding officer.
“It is our view that given the fact that there are ties between the respondent’s attorney and the presiding officer that there might be illicit bias and for that we requested the presiding officer to step aside and allow another presiding officer to adjudicate this matter,” said Jones.
The case was postponed to August 29.
On the same day, Catzavelos is also expected to appear in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on crimen injuria charges after the EFF in Gauteng opened a criminal case against him.
He is also expected to face charges in Greece 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.
Catzavelos landed in hot water when a selfie video – in which he used the k-word slur – went viral in August 2018.
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.