SA racist can only be pros­e­cuted in Greece

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - NEWS - KARINDA JAGMOHAN

A GREEK anti-racism bill would be the key to pros­e­cut­ing Adam Catza­ve­los, ac­cord­ing to a Dur­ban at­tor­ney.

At­tor­ney Tashya Giyaper­sad em­pha­sised that Catza­ve­los may only be pros­e­cuted along those lines in Greece.

The Jo­han­nes­burg-based busi­ness­man came un­der fire this week af­ter his video us­ing the k-word was leaked on so­cial me­dia. Catza­ve­los is heard say­ing: “Let me give you a weather fore­cast here; blue skies, beau­ti­ful day, amaz­ing sea and not one k **** r in sight. F ****** heaven on earth.”

Greek or­gan­i­sa­tions in South Africa lam­basted him. Fed­er­a­tion of Hel­lenic Com­mu­ni­ties and So­ci­eties of South Africa pres­i­dent John Philip­pou, said: “Catza­ve­los’s com­ments are per­sonal and in no way re­flect the opin­ions of South African Hel­lenes.”

Renowned South African jour­nal­ist of Greek de­scent, Katy Katopodis, called on fel­low South African Greeks to con­demn Catza­ve­los, say­ing: “Many South Africans could now paint all white peo­ple and those of Greek de­scent with the same brush.

“No one can re­main silent.” Prom­i­nent crim­i­nal lawyer, ad­vo­cate Zola Ma­javu, said it would be a long shot to pros­e­cute Catza­ve­los in South Africa. “The of­fence was com­mit­ted in a for­eign coun­try so you can’t pros­e­cute him here un­less it’s also an of­fence where he recorded the video. Then you can have him ex­tra­dited.”

The EFF in Gaut­eng has opened a crim­i­nal case against Catza­ve­los. But po­lice spokesper­son Colonel Brenda Muridili said the in­ves­ti­ga­tion would have to be es­ca­lated to Interpol.

In 2014, an amend­ment was adopted to the law Com­bat­ing Race Dis­crim­i­na­tion in Greece. The jail term is from three months to three years and the max­i­mum fine is 20000 eu­ros (R330 000).

Af­ter be­ing booted out of the fam­ily busi­ness, Catza­ve­los apol­o­gised. “I have watched my video and feel to­tal shame. It’s hard to put into words what I want to say and gen­uinely apol­o­gise. I don’t ex­pect peo­ple to for­give me, but I will spend the rest of my life re­pent­ing and try­ing to make up for my to­tal lack of re­spect and judge­ment,” he said.

But the South African gov­ern­ment urged law en­force­ment agen­cies to take ac­tion. Gov­ern­ment Com­mu­ni­ca­tion and In­for­ma­tion Sys­tem act­ing di­rec­tor-gen­eral Phumla Wil­liams said: “His com­ments display one of the most de­spi­ca­ble forms of racism. It’s an in­sult to hu­man dig­nity.”

PIC­TURE: DIMPHO MAJA/AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY (ANA)

A lo­cal res­i­dent joins an EFF picket out­side the of­fender’s home.

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