MEC Sihle Zikalala welcomes court findings on Mr Andre Slade

MEC Zikalala welcomes court findings confirming that Mr Andre Slade is guilty of racism and hate speech

KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mr Sihle Zikalala has welcomed the confirmation, by two judges, that Sodwana Bay Guest Lodge owner Andre Slade was indeed guilty of racist hate speech.

In his capacity as MEC responsible for tourism industry in the province, Mr Zikalala immediately laid charges against Mr Slade following his utterances and claims, in June 2016, that white people were superior to black people. Mr Slade also refused to accommodate black tourists and patrons in his business facility, saying he believed they were created to be servants.

An earlier court judgment by the Equality Court found that Slade's speech amounted to discrimination on grounds of race and he was fined R50 000. However, he was not convinced, with the judgment, stating that the magistrate had been emotional, did not understand his religious contentions and took the matter to review. A higher court has correctly affirmed the decision of the lower court.

I am pleased and satisfied with the findings of the honourable court that Mr Slade's conduct can never be tolerated in a democratic society. We welcome the findings and we hope this will send a strong message to anyone with intentions to taint our renowned tourism industry or anyone hell-bent on polarizing our society, said Mr Zikalala.

He further said no tourists should be racially-profiled or treated otherwise on the basis of their race. He said he has all the faith in our esteemed court and that no matter how slow the wheels of justice seem to turn, but justice is always attained by those who have been prejudiced.

This is why this court judgment is critical to us as it sends out a strong message that KwaZulu-Natal especially and South Africa in particular have no place for people who want to take us back to a period where certain recreational facilities and amenities were the preserve of a certain race at the detriment of others.''

Source: Government of South Africa