SOUTH AFRICA: These are the charges Adam Catzavelos faces in Greece…

by on 11 July 2019

A date still has to be set for Johannesburg businessman Adam Catzavelos to appear in court in Athens, Greece, for his racist video rant.

Catzavelos’ lawyer, Lawley Shein, confirmed outside the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday that his client also faced charges abroad.

Greek authorities confirmed in a letter they were charging Catzavelos for having, via the internet, “incited, provoked, excited or encouraged acts or actions which may cause discrimination, hatred or violence against the person or the group of persons identified by race, colour, religion, genealogy, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability in a manner which endangers public order or threatens the lives, freedom or physical integrity of such persons”.

The letter indicated he was being changed because the video of his racist rant was posted on YouTube, which was “accessible on Greek territory”, and that the k-word in Greek was also a “derogatory word for a black person and denotes the racist belittlement of the black people”.

Catzavelos’s trial in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court was postponed on Wednesday to August 29.

The defence made submissions to the court on July 5.

State prosecutor Dinesh Nandkissor said the Gauteng director of public prosecutions still had to go through them.

Catzavelos is facing a charge of crimen injuria after his race rant from a beach in Greece, which was leaked via WhatsApp.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane explained the process after an earlier court appearance: “Firstly, what informs a prosecutor, whether or not a matter should be placed on the roll, is we first have to detect if there are prospects of a successful prosecution.

“Now that has been done, the issue of jurisdiction is a matter that will be ventilated at court. The prosecutor who decided on the matter was well aware that this issue will obviously come up and has prepared an argument that will be heard in court.”

Catzavelos is also facing a hearing before the Equality Court after a complaint by the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC).

SAHRC Gauteng manager Buang Jones told the media outside court that Catzavelos wanted to settle the matter out of court, without paying damages, but they wanted him to pay at least R200,000.

“They submit that Mr Catzavelos is willing to undergo sensitivity training, to undergo some form of community service for the conduct that he’s accused of. In the answering affidavit, he does admit to the claim that we are making that his conduct amounts to hate speech,” Jones said.

“Mr Catzavelos asserts that he does not have money and they are experiencing financial challenges, but this is not corroborated by any form of proof. Until there is such proof, we are not willing to entertain any form of settlement … Our view is that damages serve as a deterrent.”

Catzavelos is meeting with the SAHRC on August 5 for a pre-trial hearing.