Magistrate recuses himself from Adam Catzavelos k-word case

The South African Human Rights Commission brought an application to the court for Adam Catzavelos’s comments to be declared hate speech.

FILE: Adam Catzavelos appeared at the Randburg Magistrates Court on 13 June 2019. Picture: Mia Lindeque/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Magistrate Naren Sewnarain on Monday recused himself from the case involving racist Adam Catzavelos at the Equality Court in Randburg due to a conflict of interest.

The South African Human Rights Commission brought an application to the court for Catzavelos’s comments to be declared hate speech.

The case was back in court on Monday and was postponed to 29 August.

Catzavelos recorded himself remarking how happy he was about the absence of black people at a beach in Greece and used the k-word.

The Human Rights Commission’s Buang Jones said they felt Sewnarain was conflicted.

“During our discussions, the magistrate disclosed that he had previously worked with Mr Catzvelos lawyer and left it to us to decide on bias and we determined that he recuse himself.”

Jones said the court would sit again later in August to decide if Catzavelos should pay and be trained.

“We are requesting R200,000 and asking the court to train him and also refrain Mr Catzavelos from making any further racial [statements] in the future.”

Catzavelos also faced more charges in Greece for his video.