Phat Joe, real name Majota Khambule, co-host Zaba Simbine and Rory Petzer, the show’s producer, are being replaced by Msizi James and Erin Dickson, who host the Weekend Breakfast Show, for the rest of this week.
The decision comes after the afternoon drive show host made a comment about “feeling Down syndromish” on his show last week. The statement sparked the ire of listeners which the Daily News reported on, on Monday.
Highlighting the Broadcasting Complaints Commission Authority’s (BCCSA) Code of Conduct paragraph 15.3, parents said the statement was insensitive and in poor taste.
A Facebook post from a mother of a Down syndrome child went viral, with hundreds of people expressing their views on the matter.
Letters of complaint, from parents and organisations, were also sent to ECR and the BCCSA.
Zane Derbyshire, ECR programming manager, said neither Simbine nor Petzer did anything to upset or offend listeners.
“In saying that, the interest of our listeners and integrity of our brand will always be taken seriously by the station. Pending further discussions, we hope to have the team back on air soon,” said Derbyshire.
Phat Joe was appointed as the drive-time anchor on ECR in September.