RANDBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – On December 12, Adam Catzavelos, pleaded guilty to crimen injuria in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court, News 24 reported, adding that Catzavelos is “the man behind the viral k-word slur video taken on a beach in Greece.”
Crimen injuria is a crime under South African common law, defined as the act of “unlawfully, intentionally and seriously impairing the dignity of another,” according to the South African Law Commission.
“The accused admits that he took the video and uttered those words on August 12, 2018 but accepts that the video was seen for the first time by the complainant [Mandisa Mashego] on August 27, 2019. The accused admits that the use of the k-word insulted and impaired the dignity of those who heard it,” his lawyer Lawley Shain told the court, News 24 reported adding that Shain noted that the accused had “uttered the words on a day when he was under the influence and sent it to a close group of friends.”
“He further explained that Catzavelos suffered two criminal incidents – where the perpetrators were Black people – while hiking and another incident of hijacking before he went to Greece,” News 24 reported.
“Your worship everyone on the beach was white, it is so but I am not coming to say he is not racist but these are the circumstances that gave rise to the disgusting selfie that he took. He accepts responsibility for his actions,” Shain said, News24 reported.
“Briefly before Catzavelos appeared in court, it was revealed that the State only received the plea proposal from his legal team on Wednesday and would possibly postpone the matter but the accused opted to go into a straight plea to finalize the matter,” News24 reported.
Efforts by Catzavelos’ legal team to secure a plea bargain were unsuccessful, according to the News24 report.
“The video sparked widespread outrage and also prompted the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to intervene in a separate matter,” News24 reported, adding that “Catzavelos previously reached an agreement with the Chapter 9 institution before the Equality Court, witting in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court, on August 29, 2019” and “agreed to pay R150 000 over a period of 30 months and apologize for his comments in the video,” News24 reported.
“The matter has been postponed to February 13, 2020 for sentencing proceedings,” News24 reported.