Darren Scott has released an official statement addressing his use of a racial slur against a colleague.
Earlier on Thursday the SuperSport Rugby World Cup anchor and Jacaranda 94.2 breakfast host resigned from the radio station after several times calling a colleague a k***** at a Jacaranda 94.2 team building event at the weekend.
Jacaranda 94.2 spokeswoman Jenny Griesel confirmed his departure from the radio station, where he hosted the “Just Plain” breakfast show.
SuperSport spokesman Clinton van der Berg also said that Scott had been granted an indefinite leave of absence from the channel , after he requested it.
Now Scott has released a statement via his media company Just Plain Media slamming the initial story reported by Beeld newpaper on Wednesday as “misleading and sensationalist”.
The statement also says that the story was “rushed into publication without Mr Scott having been given a fair or reasonable opportunity to put his side of events”.
Here is the statement:
Response to Beeld Article re Darren Scott:
7 September 2011
Mr Scott's comment on this story is that it is misleading and sensationalist. It is directly inaccurate in that it gets facts wrong and it is indirectly inaccurate in that it leaves out a lot of important facts necessary to see it in context. Once those facts are known it emerges that Mr Scott has been generous and patient to a fault. The story is not deserving of the attention of the readership of a national newspaper.
As the story has been rushed into publication without Mr Scott having been given a fair or reasonable opportunity to put his side of events, he now does so.
Over a number of years Mr Scott made personal loans to the male (not female) colleague that he had the altercation with at Mabula Lodge. The last loan that Mr Scott made to this colleague was in an amount of R3000.00. The colleague made no attempt to repay this or any of the other amounts that Mr Scott had earlier lent him. The colleague subsequently bought a car and a house but ignored his obligation to repay the loans. This resulted in the relationship deteriorating and Mr Scott avoided contact with the colleague as far as possible.
The incident in question occurred after a work function at Mabula. A few people gathered in the bar and drink was consumed. The colleague who had borrowed the money from Mr Scott joined Mr Scott's group at the bar. Mr Scott told him that people who didn't pay their debts were not welcome. In a group consisting of what Mr Scott believed were only company employees he told the colleague in strong language to go away. The colleague did so, but later returned - at the urging of another person. Mr Scott saw this as provocative and used strong language to tell the colleague to go away. In doing so he used a racial epithet.
When everyone had gone back to work in Pretoria the following week the incident was taken up by the human resources department. Mr Scott and the colleague in question, whom Mr Scott does not want to name for fear of embarrassing him further, met with the human resources manager. Mr Scott apologized to the colleague for his conduct and for the offensive language that he had wrongly used. The colleague accepted the apology and in turn apologized for not paying Mr Scott back or making any effort to do so. The colleague was emotional and said that he felt bad because it had been the loans which Mr Scott had made to him that had helped him buy his home. The incident was closed on this basis and no further investigation would seem to be necessary. The colleague did not want to take the complaint further as he had received an apology and had himself in turn apologized for his part in this personal dispute that was now resolved.
Mr Scott will be engaged in presenting the Rugby World Cup for a number of weeks and in anticipation of this heavy workload had taken this week off from the breakfast show to rest. He has not been suspended.
The other incident referred to in the Beeld story regarding Mr Scott getting angry with a soundman happened a number of years ago and the soundman in question has left the station. The manner in which Beeld refers to the “soundman” conveys the impression that this was another incident in which race came up, but that is untrue. The soundman is white. Mr Scott lost patience with him and that was all.
Last night Mr Scott was about to present the Achievers award at the CSIR when he was contacted by the Beeld regarding this story. Due to his commitment as presenter he could not give Beeld his side of events until later. Despite a request from Mr Scott’s attorney to Beeld for a little time to set out his side, Beeld refused and went to print.
Mr Scott is a professional broadcaster with high standards who works in a high-pressure industry with the eyes and ears of the nation literally on him for long periods. He regrets that the incident at Mabula took place and has conveyed his apologies to his colleague.
After the air was cleared Mr Scott feels that he and his colleague are likely to have a better working relationship. Mr Scott notes that both parties have learned from the experience and he believes that the team at 94.2 will be the stronger for the mature and effective way that the incident was handled by the station's human resource management.
End of statement