Human Rights Commission wants Catzavelos in Equality Court for hate speech
While the incident was committed in Greece, the National Prosecuting Authority said it would be arguing it had jurisdiction in the matter.
Adam Catzavelos is seen hiding his face behind a sheet of paper as he leaves the Randburg Magistrates Court after appearing for the video captured of him using the k word on a beach in Greece, 28 May 2019, Johannesburg. Picture: Jacques Nelles
Adam Catzavelos exuded the same confidence he showed in his viral k-word video when he sat alone at the Randburg Magistrates’ Court, as media hovered around him with cellphone cameras yesterday.
The 40-year-old was having his day in court for his racial utterances after he shared a video of himself on a beach in Greece, stating it had no k*****s.
The video led to mass public outrage, which even affected his family’s business as they were dumped by major clients and suppliers. Despite making a “genuine” public apology and vowing to spend the rest of his life “repenting and making up for total lack of respect and judgment”, Catzavelos now faces charges of crimen injuria.
Walking into the court room alone, he confidently sat in the benches while media members took close-ups of his face. The matter however, was postponed to June 13 to allow him to get a legal representative.
His brave face did not last, as he stalled inside the court building while media and camera operators patiently waited outside. An hour later, Catzavelos rushed to a vehicle waiting for him in the parking lot, covering his face with papers, before the vehicle sped off.
While the incident was committed in Greece, the National Prosecuting Authority said it would be arguing it had jurisdiction in the matter. Spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said the prosecutor had to first detect prospects for a successful prosecution.
“Now that has been done, the issue of jurisdiction will be dealt with later in court. The prosecutor on the matter was well aware that this issue will definitely come up and has prepared an argument.”
Catzavelos could be facing more charges before the Equality Court, following an application by the Human Rights Commission. Gauteng provincial manager Buang Jones said they had instituted their own proceedings before the court yesterday to declare Catzavelos utterances as hate speech.
“We are asking for the court to charge him a fine. We are also looking at a number of options but we served his legal team papers [yesterday] morning.”
He urged those who have been victims of racism or unfair discrimination to approach the “underutilised” court for justice. “The Equality Courts were established to assist victims of unfair discrimination … This is the most underutilised court in the country.”