A group of elderly black men and women from Soweto packed the Randburg Magistrate's Court on Thursday morning to lend their support to the Johannesburg businessman during his sentencing proceedings.
The ou ballies are some of the people learning how to meditate and breathe from Catzavelos, who is currently doing his community service at the Seth Mazibuko Foundation in Orlando, Soweto.
Catzavelos ended up at the foundation after reaching a settlement with the South African Human Rights Commission to pay a R150 000 fine and apologise publicly over his racist comments about black people.
Catzavelos had sparked a social media storm and landed himself in hot water with authorities when he recorded himself while on a beach in Greece celebrating the absence of black people.
In his video, he referred to black Africans using the K-word and the video ended up on social media, something that sparked fury in South Africa.
“Let me give you a weather forecast here. Blue skies, beautiful day, amazing sea, and not one [email protected]!r in sight, (it’s) f***ing heaven on earth, you cannot beat this,” he said in the video.
Later, the EFF’s Mandisa Mashigo and Prophet Paseka “Mboro” Motsoeneng laid charges against Catzavelos at the Bramley police station.
During the national media storm, Catzavelos’ family business, St George’s Fine Foods, lost several major contracts and he was fired as director of the company.
Testifying yesterday morning, Catzavelos told the court that although he had received nothing but love and acceptance in Orlando, where he is doing community service, it was a big thing for him to be accepted.
He also read the apology that he had written, saying he was disgusted by his actions after watching the video with his lawyers and understands why it caused deep pain to black South Africans.
Mashigo was expected to testify for the State.