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Businessman asks forgiveness after public anti-Semitic rants

  • TheApology3
“No wonder Hitler and the Nazis killed your ancestors – because they did not want your gay blood running around Europe.” This horrific email message was sent by Johannesburg businessman Montoedi Seane to attorney Colin Strime, director of Fluxmans Attorneys.
by NICOLA MILTZ and SAM ANCER | Apr 26, 2018

This was just one of many vile anti-Semitic and anti-gay statements that Seane, 33, emailed or posted all over social media about this Jewish attorney, his law firm and the Jewish community at large.

And now Seane, the owner of Uhuru Distributors, is sorry and has asked that the SA Jewish Report put a letter of apology in the newspaper. He now says he has had “moments of introspection” and has realised he “should have known better”.

The incessant vitriolic harassment started in July last year and continued into August. It had to do with a business deal to buy the Eastgate and Sandton branches of Stuttafords, which were in business rescue at the time.

Seane’s business associate agreed to pay a R500 000 deposit into the trust fund account of Fluxmans Attorneys. This was the amount required by interested bidders in order to proceed. But their bid was unsuccessful and the money was then paid back into the account from which it had originally been paid.

Seane became irate about this, saying the money belonged to him – despite having no proof of payment. After sending threatening emails to Strime and all the parties involved in the business deal, he stormed into the offices of Fluxmans Attorneys in Rosebank – on several occasions uninvited – demanding a refund. He then turned to social media and embarked on an anti-Semitic campaign.

The well-dressed Seane, who portrays himself as someone with a Bentley-driving, Champagne lifestyle, has in the past brazenly boasted on Instagram that “crime pays”.

He has posted photographs of himself standing next to a Bentley and also one of him in the driver’s seat of one of the luxury vehicles, as if claiming ownership.

In one Instagram post he can be seen posing for the camera in a swimming pool with a glass of wine in hand. This one says: “Here, Cheers [sic] to crime kids.”

And, in yet another Instagram post, he poses in an expensive pair of shoes and says: “I’m living proof that Crime do [sic] pay kids.”

A few days after hearing he was not going to be paid any money, Seane sent a string of highly insulting and defamatory emails to Strime. On August 1, Strime received three emails containing threats and curses. Later the same day at 15:49, Seane posted on Instagram: “Actually F*** the Jewish, the Blackman is king kids always remember that, you were not created to be slaves. F*** the Jews.”

The Instagram posts were incessant and ongoing, one ending with “Never, ever use this law firm kids, them Jews are f****ed up for real! Warning.”

A distressed Strime obtained an interim protection order for harassment against Seane on August 2 last year, after being persistently hounded by him. Strime also laid a criminal charge against Seane for crimen injuria with the SA Police Service and has lodged a complaint of hate speech against Montoedi with the Equality Court.

The interim protection order was served on Seane on August 7 to prevent him from continuing with his harassment.

But this did not deter Seane, who responded by posting further anti-Semitic comments on Instagram – and, in so doing, breaching the court order.

The one post ends with: “They say when you are with a Jew, Act Jewish.”

In papers before the court, Strime said Seane’s behaviour had negatively affected him. “He has caused me stress,” he said.

“I and Fluxmans Inc are being defamed, injured, insulted and harassed by Montoedi Seane, who has embarked on a campaign of repeated offensive and insulting remarks against me, against Fluxmans Inc and against the Jewish people in general.”

Neo Malefane, the man who originally put up the R500 000 deposit on behalf of Uhuru, said he too became the victim of a string of threatening and insulting SMSes after pulling out of the deal when he realised Seane was not the man he claimed to be. “He is a con artist. His life in reality is very far from the image he portrays on social media. He doesn’t seem well upstairs.”

In recent weeks Seane, who claims to be a Christian, seems to have experienced a change of heart. This week, he told the SA Jewish Report that he did not know what overcame him last year, claiming his behaviour was due to “stress and possibly the devil”.

In a seemingly remorseful tone he said: “I have done some reflecting and I realise that I have hurt a lot of people.” He added that he had “consulted with his elders”, who advised him to mend the error of his ways.

Seane apologised to Strime during a court-imposed mediation session recently and asked for his forgiveness. He also contacted a rabbi in the community asking for advice.

Rabbi Gabi Bookatz of the Waverley Shul said a man had contacted him “out of the blue”, asking for advice. “He said he felt bad because he had apparently offended a work colleague and, after apologising to him, he wanted to know how he could make good and what else was required of him in terms of the Jewish religion,” said Bookatz.

He told Seane that if the man he had hurt had accepted his apology, then that was the end of the story; there was nothing else required of him.

According to Bookatz, he was “vague” and never mentioned the nature of the offence. “Had I known the background to this, I would have advised him differently. Obviously, this was far juicier than he made out.”

In his letter of apology to the Jewish community, Seane admitted to having hurt Strime. He admitted that his “comments” not only injured his dignity, integrity and his credibility as a professional attorney of many years, but also caused harm to the Jewish community, of which Strime is a member.

Seane also contacted the SA Jewish Board of Deputies and on Tuesday, visited the Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre on its recommendation as part of his rehabilitation process.

Coincidentally, Seane’s sudden about-turn and change of heart follows fresh on the heels of a severe jail sentence imposed on estate agent Vicki Momberg. She was found guilty of four counts of crimen injuria for uttering racial slurs at a police officer in Johannesburg. She was caught on camera verbally abusing the officer, and used the K-word 48 times following a smash-and-grab incident. She was sentenced to an effective two years’ imprisonment, sending a clear message that racism would not be tolerated in the courts.

Strime said he did not know whether Seane was being genuine in his apology or if he was showing remorse because he suddenly realised that he could face serious jail time if found guilty in a court of law.

“I’m not sure,” said Strime this week. “I will have to decide the way forward.”

Seane’s sincerity will be a matter for the courts to decide.

2 Comments

  1. 2 Louis Joffe 26 Apr
    This man has no regrets about his outbursts,no sincerity in his apology.His language is shocking,and he must be charged with racial abuse.
  2. 1 nat cheiman 28 Apr
    Business man's tochas. He's an idiot

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