Racist guesthouse owner slapped with R50‚000 fine

14 February 2018 - 14:46
By Jeff Wicks
Guesthouse owner Andre Slade.
Image: THULI DLAMINI Guesthouse owner Andre Slade.

Racist guesthouse owner Andre Slade and his Slovakian partner‚ Katarina Krizaniova‚ have been slapped with a R50‚000 fine by the Ubombo Equality Court for hate speech.

Magistrate Thamo Moodley handed down a scathing judgment on Tuesday‚ ordering that the 55-year-old guesthouse owner and his lover pay penance to a non-profit organisation based in Mtubatuba in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

Slade made headlines in 2016 when he sent an e-mail barring black people from his Sodwana Bay guesthouse. It went viral and he was reported to the Equality Court.

He and Krizaniova sparked further outrage when he justified the ban on racist grounds - in various media interviews – stating 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.

This prompted an equality court bid by the iSimangaliso Wetland Park and the KZN Department of Tourism.

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The organisations wanted an apology from Slade as well as his comments to be officially classified as “hate speech”.

Moodley‚ in his judgment‚ said that Slade was protected by the constitution to express himself freely‚ but such freedom was confined because it incites violence or hatred.

He said that Slade's denigrating comments about black people‚ such as saying they were regarded as animals or servants‚ only serve to stir up emotions of hatred between blacks and whites.

“They are catalysts for the incitement of violence not only towards him but also towards innocent whites‚ amongst whom are those who fought for freedom which we so dearly enjoy today‚” he said.

“He went to great lengths to justify his discrimination against the blacks by comparing the many physical characteristics and attributes that exist between the brain sizes‚ cubic capacity of the brain‚ blood type‚ bone density‚ different bodily features etc. The conclusion reached [by him] is that a black person has limited mental intellect.”

Moodley said that Slade’s practices‚ beliefs‚ comments and conduct were all inconsistent with the vision that the Constitution seeks to achieve because they were based on racial segregation and were demeaning and oppressive towards blacks.

“Mr Slade has shown no remorse or any regrets by his racist remarks. He has become so imbibed in his religious beliefs that he does not feel that he has said or done anything wrong. He was cool‚ collected and confident when he gave his evidence and did not blink an eyelid whilst we were glued to our seat.”

He went as far as to say that Krizaniova had “fertilised” Slade's hatred of black people.

“One can say there are a couple made in heaven as both sing from the same hymn sheet regarding their views on blacks…She played a major role in feeding Mr Slade with the fertiliser necessary to grow and sustain his religious beliefs to the detriment of the Blacks. “She is the one who influenced him in preventing blacks from coming to the lodge. Mr Slade initially resisted but she insisted and he gave in.

“I am surprised that such paltry amount is asked for in view of the extreme racist’s views that Mr Slade holds of blacks. I would have awarded an amount of between R150‚000 to R200‚000 as damages but I am confined to the amount that the applicants ask for‚” he said.

Moodley further ordered that Slade and Krizaniova immediately remove any material that would amount to racism‚ inequality and hate speech from their website and that their three books be banned from publication as they amount to racism‚ inequality and hate speech.

However Slade appeared to do the opposite‚ updating his website with his view of the judgment on Wednesday morning.

“He read it with some mistakes but the most offending was the fact that he said we submitted no evidence...Moodley dared to order a ban of our book distribution in South Africa and of our blog and any discriminatory comments‚” he wrote.

He said that an appeal against the judgment would be “too costly”.