Racist guesthouse owner dealt another court blow
Racist guesthouse owner Andre Slade was dealt another blow when Durban High Court judge Esther Steyn upheld an earlier ruling by the Equality Court that found him and his partner, Katarina Krizaniova, guilty of hate speech.
In February, magistrate Thamo Moodley ordered that the 55-year-old guesthouse owner and his lover pay R50,000 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.
The duo sparked further outrage when Slade justified the ban on racist grounds in various media interviews. He stated 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.
Slade and Krizaniova had taken the decision on review, on the basis that Moodley had constrained their right to lead evidence and had also failed to acknowledge their freedom of expression as enshrined in the constitution.
In her judgment, handed down on November 30, Steyn said the proceedings “were in accordance with justice”.
“As much as the constitution recognises the right to religious freedom, it does not grant the right to discriminate against other human beings in the name of such a belief system. Simply put, the right to religion and freedom of association cannot be used as tools to destroy the right to equality and human dignity.
“The respondent’s [Slade's] biblical beliefs that blacks are inferior to whites, less intellectual than whites and less human than whites are not only demeaning in the extreme but are without any substance. [Slade's] conduct can never be tolerated in an equalitarian, democratic society based on human dignity,” Steyn said.