JOHANNESBURG - Adam Catzavelos has been barred from entering the premises of his children's school following a racist video he posted on social media.
The school, which cannot be named to protect the children's identities, on Wednesday sent a letter to parents informing them of the decision to ban Catzavelos following his "reprehensible" comments.
On Tuesday, a video of Catzavelos, who was holidaying in Europe, shared the following sentiments: "Let me give you a weather forecast here. Blue skies, beautiful day, amazing sea and not one ‘k***’ in sight…”
In the letter, the school condemned Catzavelos's remarks, saying that it "rejects all forms of racism, overt and covert" and viewed his remarks a contradiction of their guiding principles.
The top Joburg-based private school further said that because of his actions, it had taken a decision to bar Catzavelos from the their premises until further notice. The school confirmed it had communicated this decision to Catzavelos.
The principal has since confirmed the school's decision to IOL.
The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation has added their voice in those condemning Catzavelos. The foundation said racist offenders should face jail sentences.
The Foundation’s Executive Director, Neeshan Balton, said racism remained an ongoing problem in the country.
“Nothing should take from the level of outrage and disgust that we should express following an incident of this nature. We will be filing a complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission with a request that this case be taken up through the Equality Courts, and we would urge the state to pursue criminal charges against this man. The Vicki Momberg case has set a precedent," Balton said. Momberg is the first convicted for using the K-word.
“If anything, the Catzavelos case reminds us just how deeply entrenched racial attitudes are and that fighting racism requires dedicated focus across all sectors of society and across all fronts. It is up to us to ensure that people like Catzavelos are called out in order for them to face the consequences of their racism."
Responding to the video, Balton said that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white. He said that if Catzavelos was not prepared to live under "this edict of our Constitution", then maybe he should go and find some "enclave where his racism will be tolerated".
Balton said that unlike during apartheid, South Africa and its beaches are opened to everyone.
“We want to tell Catzavelos, that perhaps he should remain in what he describes in his video as “heaven on earth... We really don’t require racists like Catzavelos in our public spaces,” Balton said.
“In the past, we’ve had half-hearted apologies and all sorts of excuses. We refuse to accept this any longer,” he concluded.
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Additional reporting by African News Agency (ANA)