Hate speech: Human Rights Commission takes on Agrizzi over k-word tirade

2019-01-30 16:47
Former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi (Felix Dlangamandla)

Former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi (Felix Dlangamandla)

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The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) intends on laying charges against former Bosasa boss Angelo Agrizzi after he used the k-word in a recording played at the state capture commission of inquiry.

Agrizzi wrapped up his evidence at the commission on Tuesday. However, it was more the recording of his racist slurs being played, rather than his evidence on the day that was the main focus. The recording was taken during a meeting at his Fourways home.

In it, Agrizzi refers to black directors of Bosasa as k*****s on numerous occasions. 

READ: Agrizzi’s final day in the stand: Racism and relief

Now, the SARHC says it is taking the matter to the Equality Court.

"The SAHRC finds this conduct particularly egregious, hurtful, uncalled for and it is the kind of instance which would embolden like-minded individuals if no action is taken or sanction is meted out," said spokesperson for the SAHRC Gail Smith.

She added: "The SAHRC believes that Agrizzi has engaged in hate speech which accentuates the chasms that were fostered before 1994 and which undermines the aspirations of our constitutional democracy."

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, who chairs the commission said Agrizzi’s words were "extremely offensive and totally unacceptable".

At the same time, Agrizzi is under investigation by the SA Police Service for the utterances and admitted before the commission that he "was a racist". He apologised before and after the recording was played.

The SAHRC said it would be in the "public interest" to seek "appropriate relief including an order payment for damages and an order directing the clerk of the Equality Court to submit the matter to the Director of Public Prosecutions for the possibility of instituting criminal proceedings against Agrizzi," said Smith. 

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