Adam Catzavelos escapes jail time, handed R50 000 fine

Adam Katzavelos sitting with ladies from the Seth Mazibuko Foundation

As Adam Catzevelos himself would put it, “blue skies, white beaches – and not a jail term in sight. Heaven on earth.”

Convicted racist Catzavelos has been sentenced to a R50 000 fine or a suspended two-year jail term after he appeared at the Randburg magistrate’s court to learn his fate on Friday morning. 

The jail sentence is wholly suspended for 5 years unless he commits another crime.

Guilty of crimen injuria

Catzavelos was found guilty of crimen injuria in 2019 after a foul mouthed, racist rant the he filmed during a holiday to Greece. The video of him bragging about the fact that there was “not a k***** in sight” was shared on a WhatsApp group and went viral. 

Two years on, Catzavelos’ life has changed significantly from those whimsical days on a Greek beach. He was fired from his family business amid a nationwide furore that saw him vilified beyond the pale. 

The EFF, who brought the case against him, marched on his home and he claimed that he feared for his family’s safety in the weeks that followed after receiving death threats.

He was previously fined R150 000 and ordered to complete community service when he was found guilty in the Equality court. Magistrate Hleziphe Nkasibe said that she had taken this into account when deliberating on what further punishment he should receive.

Accompanied by some of the ladies who work at the Seth Mazibuko Foundation in Orlando, Soweto, where Catzevelos has been completing mandatory community service, Catzavelos seemed resigned to the decision of the court. 

A changed man?

Last week, he argued in mitigation of his sentence, saying that through his time with the foundation, he had learnt the true extent of the damage his words had caused and said that with the help of the Gogos there, he had become a new man. 

“I’m definitely not the same person I was 17 months ago,” he said. “I acknowledge that the way I was thinking was incorrect.” 

“If I look back, I don’t regret what I did in that I became a better person. I’ve grown as a person, I’m a much nicer person than I was.”

Indeed, the ladies themselves have dubbed him Mxolisi, a Zulu word for forgiveness. 

This is a developing story

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