The South African government said on Thursday it strongly condemns the racial comments articulated by Adam Catzavelos‚ in a video that went viral on social media.
“His racist comments cannot be justified and display one of the most despicable form of racism. Government urges law enforcement agencies to take action against Mr Catzavelos‚” said the official statement.
Acting Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) director-general Phumla Williams said: “His racial comments undermine the gains made towards social cohesion‚ nation building and strengthening our vibrant young democracy. It is an insult to human dignity and to the fight for freedom. South Africa is a democratic country that is governed by the Constitution and the rule of law applies and all who live within our borders should be promoting social cohesion and peaceful co-existence.”
Government advised all citizens that the use of social media is just like any other forms of publication‚ and people can be held liable for the consequences for what one posts.
“Those found guilty cannot escape the consequences of posting racist comments on social media. Racism is punishable by law‚ under the Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes & Hate Speech Bill. Whilst government respects freedom of expression‚ the public should be responsible in how they express their views. Racism has detrimental effects in disrupting the advances we have made as a country‚” added Williams.
In the video‚ Catzavelos‚ 39‚ uses the k-word to celebrate the fact that no black people were present on the beach he was on in Greece. The leaked video‚ which was sent to a WhatsApp group‚ went viral on Tuesday night.