Ngizwe Mchunu, former Ukhozi FM presenter and controversial DJ, has come under fire for his tribalism fuelled criticism of Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema, losing his contract with a car dealership in the process.
In a widely circulated video on social media, Mchunu had taken umbrage against Malema for his remarks about the Springboks after winning the world cup, saying they were a symbol of white supremacy.
After defending the Boks against Malema, Mchunu also took aim at the EFF leader hurled tribalist insults, saying Malema had no right to launch the EFF’s party manifesto in Durban. The EFF has announced it would launch its manifesto at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in February.
The fallout from Mchunu's comments has led to the termination of his ambassadorial role with JAC Motors South Africa, who swiftly distanced themselves from his "tribalistic and divisive utterances."
JAC Motors South Africa took a decisive stand against Mchunu's remarks, giving him a 24-hour ultimatum to return the sponsored vehicle.
The company expressed its condemnation of Mchunu's comments and stated that the decision to terminate the relationship was made to uphold principles of inclusivity and condemn divisive language.
Chief Operations Officer Sicelo Nyandeni said: "Every citizen has the right to live anywhere in South Africa and to freely commute across provinces without prior approval."
In a video widely shared on social media, Mchunu criticised Malema's remarks, labelling it "the language of apartheid."
He also suggested that Malema should launch the party manifesto in Limpopo, Malema’s home province.
Mchunu went further, questioning Malema's leadership and linguistic abilities, stating: “You are a leader who can't speak isiZulu, the only language you know is English, you address our Zulu people in English, what a leader are you?"
Malema had previously expressed his refusal to support symbols associated with apartheid, referring to the Springboks as an "apartheid symbol."
Mchunu, however, criticised Malema for expressing his views in English, the language he dubbed as "the language of apartheid."
The EFF KZN said: “We are intolerant of tribalism the same way we are intolerant of racism”.
Following the backlash and termination of his sponsorship, Mchunu unconditionally apologised for his comments on December 23. However, a statement released four days and dated December 27, later appeared to distance him from the apology.
The controversy highlights the intersection of sports, politics, and language in South Africa, bringing attention to the ongoing debate surrounding symbols associated with the country's apartheid history.
Mchunu was also fired from Ukhozi FM in 2018. The former radio presenter, who had a thriving career, was dismissed due to misconduct.
Recently, he was also accused of inciting violence during the July riots, but the Randburg Magistrate’s Court ruled in November that he had been acquitted of all charges.