'Blacks are not people' guesthouse owner found guilty of hate speech

Durban - Andre Slade, the Sodwana Bay guesthouse owner who authored emails in which he claimed white people were superior to blacks, has been found guilty of racist hate speech, ordered to apologise, and fined R50 000 by the Equality Court, sitting in Ubombo.

The fine is to be donated to Mpilonhle, a Mtubatuba-based non-profit organisation focusing on health and education, within 60 days, Magistrate Tamo Moodley ruled on Tuesday.

He said Slade had impaired the human dignity of African people, and ordered that he undertake not to engage in similar conduct again.

Slade was also ordered to remove any "racist" material from his guesthouse website and he was banned from publishing and distributing any other racist publications, including blogs.

The matter was taken to court by the Isimangaliso Wetland Park Authority and the Department of Tourism.

Slade, 54, made headlines in 2017 when an email he wrote circulated saying that blacks and government employers were not allowed to stay at this guest house.

READ: 'Blacks are not people' - Sodwana Bay Guest House owner tells radio presenter

In argument before the court, lawyers for Isimangaliso and the department said Slade's "discrimination of African people is based on his belief of 'God's law', which he believes entitles him to practice some sort of segregation.

"The respondents' [Sodwana Bay Guest House and Slade] defence is based on their right to hold their beliefs and their right to practise their culture as members of the white race group who, in their opinion, are superior to all other races. They have told this court that the Constitution is racist and invalid.

"While one may be entitled to your beliefs, you cannot use them to violate the rights of any other person."

Slade used this same argument: "Declaring our right of association was the first physical step in restoring Yahweh's place in society. We also discriminate against the LGBT society, mixed breed and multiracial couples, as published on our blog, as these are forbidden from Earth by the Creator.

"All of our constitutional rights have been violated," he said.

Andrew Zaloumis, former head of Isimagaliso who gave evidence at the hearing, said a full typed judgment was awaited.

"The magistrate commented that Slade's behaviour was despicable and unacceptable and had caused great hurt," he said.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter