EFF calls for 10-year sentence for Catzavelos, while his lawyer asks for suspended sentence

2020-02-13 15:35
Racism accused Adam Catzavelos is seen during his appearance at the Randburg Magistrate's Court on charges of crimen injuria. (Felix Dlangamandla, Gallo Images, Netwerk24, file)

Racism accused Adam Catzavelos is seen during his appearance at the Randburg Magistrate's Court on charges of crimen injuria. (Felix Dlangamandla, Gallo Images, Netwerk24, file)

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Gauteng EFF chairperson Mandisa Mashego has called for a lengthy sentence for Adam Catzavelos for the use of the k-word.

Mashego testified in aggravation of sentence in Catzavelos' trial in the Randburg Magistrate's Court on Thursday.

The EFF in Gauteng laid charges of crimen injuria after a video of Catzavelos using the k-word on a beach in Greece went viral, sparking widespread condemnation. News24 previously reported that in the clip, he revelled in the fact that there were no black people on the beach.

In her testimony, Mashego labelled Catzavelos' apologies, in which he stated that he was remorseful for his actions, as "lame".

"Apologies are patronising and encourage more racism. Over and above the crimen injuria, he must serve no less than 10 years behind bars. Should the law allow for racism to be a criminal offence, I believe he should get nothing less than 10 years. However, I will accept what the court metes out. I have no choice but to accept that because it is a given.

"Ten years is a sentence that all racists should get in court," Mashego said.

Catzavelos' lawyer, Lawley Shein, told the court that his client had shown remorse and had already been punished by the Equality Court.

"This court will not be showing any sign of tolerance or weakness against those using the k-word. There has been widespread public anger from all corners. I urge the court in these circumstances to mete out a proper answer. All indications are that the accused will never commit this type of offence," said Shein.

Shein asked the court to give Catzavelos a suspended sentence or a suspended fine.

"I ask you not to double punish the accused. I am asking for a suspended fine. He is unemployed and is currently paying a monthly fine of R5 000.

"He was dismissed from a family business and has liquidated his shares. The business has started again, and the accused has nothing to do with the new business. Every cent he has, which was meant to support his family, has been redirected to his R150 000 fine (by the Equality Court)," Shein said.

He said Catzavelos must find other employment and was prohibited from stepping into his three children's schools. Shein added that as a result of Catzevelos' utterances, his wife was dismissed from her job.

READ: 'I am here to say I am sorry for what I did' - Catzavelos apologises once again for uttering the k-word

In response, State prosecutor Dinesh Nandkissor said the Equality Court and the criminal court were two different courts. The prosecutor added that the community was upset that a fine was imposed on Catzavelos last year.

Nandkissor added that the R5 000 monthly fine could easily encourage more racism.

The prosecutor also questioned if Catzavelos' earlier apologies were genuine.

"He only came back to SA in February when the video was widely distributed. He could have made another video where he apologised and sent it to the media.

"He said he was assisted with writing his apology. He chose the platform of a regional radio station, Jacaranda FM, that doesn't have the footprint of any other media, or social media itself.

"The State is asking that a message be sent not to him alone, but to South Africans in general. The sentence against the accused must be one that rehabilitates him and sends a clear message that there is no space for that in this country," Nandkissor said.

The case was postponed to February 28 for sentencing.

Read more on:    eff  |  adam catzavelos  |  johannesburg ­  |  racism  |  courts  |  crime
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