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Racist Sodwana guest house owner unrepentant

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Sodwana Bay racist Andre Slade was unrepentant when senior ANC KwaZulu-Natal leaders and hundreds of their supporters gathered to protest at his property against his anti-black remarks.

Unfazed, Slade insisted that black people were sub-humans and whites were royalty, and said the Bible was the bedrock for his beliefs.

Slade’s Sodwana Bay Guest House was shut down on Tuesday following an inspection by a team from the Umhlatuze environmental health department.

Slade addressed the media on Wednesday in the presence of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Sihle Zikalala, who is the ANC provincial chairman.

Slade had become the talk of the country after Durban woman Sizakele Msimango received an e-mail from Slade which said: “We do not accommodate blacks or government employees any longer.”

As Zikalala was addressing the media after accepting a memorandum from the ANC Youth League, Slade and his Slovakia-born girlfriend, Katarina Kirzani, emerged from his house. They held hands with smiles on their faces while walking slowly towards the ANC crowd at the entrance. Slade kept referring to the Bible to justify his racist belief.

“The name people’ for blacks does not exist. When Jan van Riebeeck came to the country he made blacks people. When Europe built cities there was not one in Africa,” he said.

Before going to the police station, Zikalala had addressed the community about the importance of “decisively” dealing with Slade’s behaviour.

He said racism was a danger to the province’s tourism industry, which was growing in Sodwana Bay and surroundings and provided jobs to locals.

“We want to make it clear that racism is not accepted in South Africa. We want to make it clear that racism is costly,” said Zikalala.

He also assured white local business people that the government would not apply a blanket approach when dealing with racism.

“There were many white people who participated in the struggle for liberation of this country. But anyone who harbours racism would be dealt with accordingly.”

He said Slade had breached an agreement he had made several years ago with the Ingonyama Trust Board to acquire the land where he operated his business.

In the youth league memorandum, which its provincial chairman, Thami Ngubane, presented to Zikalala, the league called for Slade to “pack his bags and leave Sodwana Bay with immediate effect”.

Zikalala said Slade would soon be evicted from the area, adding that he did not belong anywhere in South Africa.

Community Tourism Association chairman Sbusiso Mlambo said Slade was not the only one operating a guest house without a licence.

Local black people expressed conflicting views about Slade’s behaviour. While some were hostile to him, others said he was a good man, who had assisted his black neighbours with water.

“There are people who are able to feed their families because of Slade’s business. The problem is not Slade, but it is the crime in this town. He has had so many break-ins on his property.

“Government employees would fail to pay after they had been accommodated in his guest house. The truth must be told without looking at just one side of the story,” said Zondwa Mlambo.

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