Willem Ackerman has been granted leave to appeal to the SCA after a ruling by the Equality Court found him guilty of hate speech for using the k-word multiple times.

News24 report says in May, an ‘unrepentant’ Willem Ackerman was ordered to pay R500 000 to the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, issue a public apology to his business associates, and undergo 50 hours of racial sensitisation with the SA Human Rights Commission.

The 10 May ruling by Judge Gregory Wright in the Equality Court stemmed from a case lodged by businessmen Emmanuel Amaning, Nicholas Liebmann and Garth Wellman against Ackerman for alleged racism.

In his ruling, Wright noted that the four businessmen had a history of doing business together, but Amaning, Liebmann and Wellman had since fallen out with Ackerman and the three had initially made four complaints against him.

The first complaint by the applicants, dated January 2018, was when Ackerman allegedly said to Wellman: ‘The kaffirs running this country will just keep fucking it up as they have done in the rest of Africa.’

The News24 report says it was alleged that this statement amounted to hate speech, unfair discrimination and harassment.

The second incident was in October 2018 at Ackerman's business premises when he allegedly told Wellman that Liebmann was ‘that fucking Jew who only wants to enrich himself in every deal’.

The third incident was in August 2019 when Ackerman sent a text message to Wellman with the words: ‘Garth, after today I might be seen as racist, but I will, man alone, kill every kaffir that crosses my path. So God help me.’

And in October 2021, Ackerman allegedly said to Wellman during a telephone call: ‘My kaffirs know their place.’ 

The judge found the statements to be unlawful hate speech, amounting to unlawful discrimination against black people, including Amaning, and constituting the unlawful harassment of Wellman.

Ackerman appealed Wright’s ruling soon after it was made, and on 6 June his appeal bid was granted.

Full News24 report