Johannesburg – "I am a racist I admit, you can judge me on that its fine," Angelo Agrizzi told the Zondo commission.
Agrizzi’s shocking admission was prompted by the intention to play an audio clip of him having a discussion with relatives of Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson.
Advocate Paul Pretorius, for the commission’s legal team, played the clip on Tuesday during Agrizzi’s ninth day of testimony. It was intended to provide context to accusations that Agrizzi had previously used offensive racist language.
Agrizzi appeared embarrassed and agitated before the clip was played and asked that the entire three hours of the audio be played to provide context. Pretorius said he could not do so. Agrizzi apologised to Zondo before the clip was played.
In the audio clip, which has been circulating on social media for months, Agrizzi is heard using the K-word numerous times while laughing with those he was in conversation with.
"I admit it, Chair and I am sorry. That’s all I can say," said Agrizzi after the clip was played.
Pretorius said the commission’s legal team found the audio to be nakedly racist and offensive.
He asked Agrizzi what his response would be if the assumption was made that he came forward with evidence to the commission because he is a racist.
Agrizzi said he had to be judged on facts and attempted to try and justify the matter saying the video was taken in his private home.
"I made a mistake, I admit it. I am paying the price for it. I do not see why someone would say I am being racist when I am pointing out the facts that Mr Watson corrupted people, that’s all I am pointing out. He is not black, that’s why it is important to listen to the facts of what I am saying.
"The two people that I refer to using the K-word was Papa Leshabane and Johannes Gumede (Bosasa directors). Those are the two. The reason for that is because I was wrong. There is no excuse. When people threaten you, you do use stupid things. It was directed at them and it was in the privacy of my own home," said Agrizzi.
Zondo aksed Agrizzi why he thought mentioning privacy of his home was relevant to the matter.
"I do not know what difference that makes. Is one allowed to be racist in the privacy of their house and when they’re outside they are allowed to?," asked Zondo.
"There are no excuses for what happened," said Agrizzi.
Agrizzi said the meeting where the clip was recorded by the Watsons was a clear trap.
The inquiry continues.