Johannesburg - SA National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) has welcomed the firing of Hot91.9FM radio host Sasha Martinengo, saying his on-air “racist” remarks went against nation building.
Sanef chairperson Mahlatse Mahlase said the organisation was appalled by Martinengo’s racist utterances and they supported the station’s decision to dismiss him.
Martinengo was fired on Tuesday after he called EFF leader Julius Malema a monkey.
The DJ maintained his statement on social media after he was axed on Tuesday.
“The Sanef welcomes the station’s decisions because hosts and presenters play a huge role in shaping, building and influencing society,” said Mahlase.
“Also, there is a thin line between freedom of expression and racism, and with freedom of expression comes great responsibility and limitations because we all have rights and this aspect needs to be utilised with care,” she said.
The station released a statement about its decision.
“This morning an unfortunate and completely unacceptable incident took place during the Breakfast Show, whereby a reference was made by anchor presenter Sasha Martinengo, who said people still listen to ‘this monkey’, referring to Mr Julius Malema,” said Lloyd Madurai, managing director of Hot91.9FM.
“As such, notwithstanding the presenter’s immediate and unreserved apology, the station has elected to remove him from all involvement with the radio station with immediate effect.”
Martinengo later tweeted that he stood by what he said.
“I’m sorry if I offended anyone, but I stand by what I said.
“Anyone, irrespective of their race, colour, creed, religion, gender who disrespects a woman is a monkey.”
The EFF welcomed Martinengo’s dismissal and was due to open a case against him on Wednesday.
“The EFF welcomes dismissal of Sasha Martinengo from Hot 91.9FM following his racial remarks about CIC Julius Malema,” said party spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.
“Unlike many who accept apologies of racists, this station refused to stop there and took it a step further by firing a racist.”
Ndlozi said white people needed to know that each time they used the k-word or called people monkeys they could end up in jail.
Martinengo joins a list of personalities and ordinary people who have been in hot water for using “racist” language.
Late in August, Adam Catzavelos became famous for his video in which he gave a weather update from the beach in Greece, saying that he was having the time of his life because there was not a single k****r in sight.
His embarrassed family fired him from their business.
Casting agency owner, Mary Ann Miller allegedly made racist remarks after she got into an altercation with actress Gugu Xofa in a WhatsApp group.
She allegedly swore at black members in the group telling them to go back to their “caves” and “wait for Mandela to resurrect” them.
In June, Alochna Moodley, 26, called two black passengers, Reverend Solumuzi Mabuza and Sibusiso Magubane, as well as captain Menzi Mvelase, by the k-word in an SMS on a flight from ORTambo International to King Shaka Airport on a Friday night.
In September 2011, SuperSport Rugby World Cup anchor and Jacaranda 94.2 breakfast host Darren Scott resigned from the radio station because of racial tension which led him to call a colleague by the K-word.
He later resigned.