Angelo Agrizzi asked to pay R200k for k-word clip ahead of settlement talks

29 May 2019 - 11:33 By Ernest Mabuza
Former Bosasa executive Angelo Agrizzi after his court appearance at the Equality Court sitting at the Randburg Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.
Former Bosasa executive Angelo Agrizzi after his court appearance at the Equality Court sitting at the Randburg Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.
Image: Ernest Mabuza/TimesLIVE

The South African Human Rights Commission wants Angelo Agrizzi to pay R200,000 in compensation for using the k-word.

The former Bosasa chief operating officer made a brief appearance at the Equality Court sitting in the Randburg Magistrate's Court on Wednesday to hear the hate speech complaint brought against him by the SAHRC.

The commission also asked the court to direct Agrizzi to undergo a sensitivity programme and to issue an unconditional apology to South Africans.

The application by the commission followed the playing of an audio clip at the state capture commission in which he could be heard using the k-word several times.

Agrizzi admitted using the racial slurs at the commission and apologised for using the offending word.

The rights commission's Gauteng manager, Buang Jones, told the Equality Court that he had met Agrizzi's counsel to explore several options, including a settlement.

Jones' request to postpone the matter to June 27 to allow the parties to explore options regarding resolution of the matter was granted. 

Mannie Witz, for Agrizzi, said the problem facing the former Bosasa executive was that he did not know who disseminated the recording, as he did not distribute it. He said the hate speech complaint required Agrizzi to have disseminated the offending audio recording himself.

However, Witz  said if settlement discussions failed, Agrizzi would file a response to the application by the commission.

Jones told the court that if the matter went to trial, the commission intended calling two witnesses who are Agrizzi's former colleagues at the company formerly known as Bosasa.

Speaking outside court, Jones said the commission would have liked the matter to be set down for hearing. However, he said the commission decided to commence with preliminary discussions to see if it could not settle the matter.

"We will meet mid-June with Mr Agrizzi's legal team to start exploring options to settle the matter," Jones said.

Daniel Witz, another attorney for Agrizzi, said outside the court that the demand for R200,000 was something Agrizzi would consider.

Witz said Agrizzi had shown remorse for his utterances.

"If you recall when this matter was raised at the Zondo Commission, Mr Agrizzi did show remorse and apologised profusely to the citizens of South Africa.

"In terms of this matter here today, any apology will be discussed during settlement, alternatively in court," Witz said.


X