Lion whisperer spurns racist guesthouse owner Andre Slade
An attempt by racist Sodwana Bay guesthouse owner Andre Slade to secure the expert testimony of renowned conservationist and “lion whisperer” Kevin Richardson in his hate speech trial has backfired.
Richardson‚ of television fame‚ including various wildlife documentaries‚ has rebuffed Slade and denounced his views on white superiority‚ going as far as threatening legal action if Slade continues to pester him.
Last year‚ Slade‚ 54‚ sent an e-mail barring black people from his Sodwana Bay guesthouse. It went viral and he was reported to the Equality Court.
Slade and his Slovakian partner‚ Katarina Krizaniova‚ 27‚ sparked further outrage in June 2016 for saying - in various media interviews - that “God's word” said whites were superior‚ that blacks were classified in the Bible as “animals”‚ and that whites had a “crown” on their heads that blacks did not have.
Slade had issued a subpoena to Richardson‚ requesting his expert testimony in his upcoming trial in the Equality Court. Among other things‚ he wanted the animal behaviourist to testify that wild animals had dark skin and that blacks were over-populated on the planet.
Richardson‚ speaking exclusively to TimesLIVE‚ said he refused to be a part of Slade’s “insult” to South African citizens. He said that apart from strongly disagreeing with Slade‚ he was tied up with a film shoot and did not have the relevant expertise to provide testimony.
“My wife had received an e-mail many months ago‚ asking if I would be a witness‚ to which she replied that I had nothing to offer and said I wouldn’t be available.
“It was also made abundantly clear that I do not wish to be part of his misguided attack on my fellow South Africans and despite this I was subpoenaed at the 11th hour compelling me to testify at the Equality Court.
“If they persist in compelling me to testify‚ I will be pursuing a damages claim against them.”
Richardson had caustic words for Slade‚ accusing him of derision and racial hatred.
“It is an unwarranted and baseless attack on the human race. I’m shocked that in this day and age someone would actually think and believe this‚” he said.
“By the line of questioning it horrifies me even more that somebody would actually attempt to convince a judge that humans should be classed as different species depending on their ethnicity. South Africa has no place for racism and it should be weeded out.”
Slade had previously tried to sue the Roman Catholic church‚ as well as the pope‚ but his legal challenge in the Durban High Court quickly fell flat when it was struck from the roll.
Apart from the Equality Court charges‚ he is being investigated for the murder of 26-year-old Siyabonga Nsele‚ his neighbour in Mbazwana‚ northern KwaZulu-Natal‚ in March.
Slade claimed that Nsele had been running away‚ clutching a bag of stolen groceries. He fired a shot that hit him behind the ear and he died soon afterwards in a nearby clinic.
“He fell like a bag of potatoes. The bullet severed his spinal cord … his eyes could see me because he was still alive. His brain was still operating‚ but he couldn't blink his eyes because he'd lost muscle control‚” Slade said during an interview with the Sunday Times.
The matter remains under investigation‚ according to police‚ despite Slade's admission.