It was halfway through his 1am rant that 702 news reader Mark Esterhuysen looked up and saw the call screener glaring at him, her mouth wide open.
But there was no turning back now. He sped up.
“F*** capitalism. F*** fascism. F*** this f***ing wage-slavery graveyard s***.”
He was allowed to go on for 40 seconds before the music kicked in, cutting him off.
He removed his headphones, stood up, and gave the studio surveillance camera the finger.
As he exited the building, he left a parting word with the late-night security guard: “Tell the corporation to go f*** themselves.”
Career suicide, or the media industry’s boldest resignation letter?
By daybreak, Eyewitness News editor-in-chief Katy Katopodis had already labelled the on-air vigilante a publicity seeker, while a station press release stated politely that “Mark’s contract with EWN (Eyewitness News) has been terminated with immediate effect.”
But as clips of the tirade bounced around the internet, Esterhuysen switched off his phone and enjoyed what he described as “the best day of my life – I don’t have to go to work today”.
A Tuks FM alumnus, Esterhuysen began working for Eyewitness News in May this year. But he said four months of being a “wage slave” was enough to leave him deeply disillusioned.
“I’m all about freedom of expression,” he explained on Tuesday afternoon. “But I felt censored. I don’t appreciate the fact that a lot of corporate media organisations are slaves to capitalism. Primedia is a corporation at the end of the day. They don’t actually give a f*** about the man on the street.”
Esterhuysen said he was “paid peanuts so the head honchos could live in big houses”.
“I felt like the corporation made me a wage slave for their benefit. So I figured f*** them. I would use them as a platform for my views.” Views against police brutality and racism. Populist politicians and corporates. Civilisation and the destruction of the planet.
On his blog, Looking at the World from a Distance, Esterhuysen describes the day he decided “civilisation” was not for him:
“I thought for a second, and said: ‘Is it not obvious why I hate civilisation? Humans are unhappy, animals are unhappy, the environment is unhappy. What the f*** are we doing trying to perpetuate the misery of civilisation?’ I wanted to get away from all of the crap that had been fed to me since I was a baby. I wanted to live as the human animal has evolved to live!” - Pretoria News
What he said
Presenter: “It’s just past one o’clock.”
Cue introduction music: “This is Eyewitness News”
Mark Esterhuysen: “Good morning. *clears throat* I’m Mark Esterhuysen. F*** racism. F*** the pigs who killed Andries Tatane. F*** the AWB. F*** racism. We are all wild animals meant to live free. *speeds up* F*** capitalism. F*** fascism. F*** this f***ing wage-slavery graveyard s***. F*** domestication.
F*** Malema. F*** the state. F*** perpetual economic growth on a finite planet. This is the only f***ing planet we have. If you don’t agree with me, please see my blog: markesterhuysen.blogspot.com. Peace. Love. Respect. Anarchy. Follow me on Twitter @markesterhuysen. You can follow me on Facebook, as well. Mark Esterhuysen.”