Former Bosasa boss Agrizzi’s hate speech rant costs him R200 000

Angelo Agrizzi
Angelo Agrizzi

After his self-confessed utterances before the state capture commission admitting that he’s a racist, former Bosasa chief operations officer Angelo Agrizzi reached an agreement with the South African Human Rights Commission that the former boss would pay damages amounting to R200 000.

The money will go to the Alexandra-based Barney Mokgatle Foundation - an organisation promoting social cohesion, non-racialism and reconciliation in Alex.

In a court order seen by City Press subsequent to his appearance at the Equality Court in Randburg on Thursday morning, Agrizzi would not only pay damages but he would also issue an unconditional public apology to all South Africans on Thursday June 27 – the same day the damages are to be paid.

The apology would be published on the commission’s website and social media platforms.

Earlier this year, the commission took the former boss to the Equality Court after a recorded conversation – which was first made public by City Press last year – revealed Agrizzi’s use of the k-word.

Read: Human Rights Commission to take racist Agrizzi to court 

In the audio clip Agrizzi refers to his former black business partners, repeatedly, using the k-word amid a fallout with them.

Agrizzi could be heard making reference to “k****rs” several times during a conversation with Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson’s children and nephew, Lindsay, Roth and Jarrod Watson at his Fourways home.

The SAHRC, in its settlement agreement with Agrizzi, which City Press has seen, said that the recording was an attempt by the Watsons to persuade Agrizzi “to not whistleblow to the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture which would expose Bosasa and the Watson family.”

“Those k****rs ... I’m telling you they are k****rs alright, because they are screwing your father with information that he shouldn’t listen to,” he is heard saying.

At the time City Press reported that the audio recording was at the centre of a crimen injuria case, opened by Agrizzi’s former colleagues, Johannes Gumede and Papa Leshabane.

Read: Scandal 1: Big boss in k-word tirade

Agrizzi’s words were viewed by the commission as “hate speech as defined in section 10(1) of the Equality Act.” The commission subsequently took steps and lodged hate speech charges against him.

During his appearance at the Zondo commission, Agrizzi hung his head in shame as he admitted to being a racist.

“I am a racist, I know,” Agrizzi admitted.

He went on to plead with the Zondo commission to focus only on the merits of his testimony and not be lost in the “misdirected and unwarranted” racist utterances.

“Although, now I know that this was wrong, this was all directed at Joe Gumede and Papa Leshabane. Those two had made threats against me and my family. Yes, I was wrong in expressing these sentiments, however, when people wrong you then you may lose your cool,” Agrizzi said.

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