Adam Catzavelos, 41, has once again apologised for using the K-word

“I am not making up excuses for what I did. What I did is horrendous and disgusting. My actions surely speak louder than what I did. I was not thinking of a reaction from the video. I am sorry for what I did. I am here to say I am sorry for what I did,” he said.

Catzavelos, who was convicted of crimen injuria after pleading guilty in December, was testifying during mitigation of his sentence on Thursday in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court.

He claimed that while growing up he never heard his parents uttering the racist word.

He was charged with crimen injuria after the EFF laid a charge after a video in which he used the K-word – recorded on 12 August 2018 while on holiday at a Greek beach – went viral.

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Catzavelos said that after realising what he had done, he could not talk to his children and parents without crying. He also told the court that after the video went viral, he received over 6 000 death threats and was living in fear. He returned to the country in February 2019 fearing that he was going to be attacked.

“I was a very angry person at the time and there were many things happening in my life,” he said.

Besides losing friends, Catzavelos said his business also lost clients.

“I don’t want to sound like I am social justice champion. I don’t tolerate any stereotypes, derogatory [comments],” he said.

He claimed he knew that the K-word was a terribly insulting word.

“If we were all equal, you wouldn’t have made that comment?” Magistrate Hleziphe Mkhasibe asked.

Catzavelos responded that the video had made him see that his race or religion was not above the black population.


Last year, the Equality Court fined Catzavelos R150 000 which he is currently paying in R5 000 monthly instalments.

He was also ordered to undergo 160 hours of community service. He is currently working with the Seth Mazibuko Foundation in Orlando, Soweto where he is teaching senior citizens meditation and breathing exercises.

“It has been a humbling experience. Teach people to meditate and breathe and response I have is phenomenal. I am now an Orlando boy,” he said.

He claimed that he was disgusted, horrified and ashamed of his actions. He claimed since then he has grown as person and would never repeat those words.

“I am definitely not the same person I was 17 months ago. Mazibuko has been an inspiration to work. He has taught me things I have not known before. He has taught me about the Black Consciousness and the struggle against apartheid,” Catzavelos said.

He promised to continue working with the Seth Mazibuko Foundation after completing his community service sentence.

The hearing continues.

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