The tweet featured pictures of two black children alongside those of two dogs participating in the 702 Walk The Talk.
Accompanying the pictures were the words: “Aaw Dog VS Baby... Who’s cuter. Go ahead and evoke those broody feelings”.
The tweet was deleted, but not before it was screen-grabbed and circulated on social media with some users feeling that it was racist and insulting to black people.
In his show on Monday morning, Gwala expressed disgust at not only the tweet but the way it had been handled by management.
“I have read this tweet over and over again I think ultimately it is despicable. It is distasteful for a company that is in the communication space that tells people’s stories,” Gwala said during a live broadcast.
The company had posted an apology after deleting the tweet, but Gwala felt this was not enough, saying it was a half-baked apology.
“It is a five-line apology that seeks to say ‘alright so we have offended some people, we apologise’ and it kind of says move on.
"It is unacceptable, it is completely inadequate from the management’s point of view to be saying these kind of things.”
Primedia chief executive Omar Essack was later interviewed on the show where he apologised, saying “we were wrong” and added that the company did not tolerate racism.
“In this country, we have a history where black people have been objectified over centuries and that is wrong,” Essack said.
He promised that the matter would be looked into to ascertain whether it was an act of ignorance or racism.
The Right2Know campaign said Gwala’s scathing commentary about his employer was an “act of freedom of thought and freedom of expression”.
“The station respected the freedom of their employee to express his opinions and sought not to hinder media freedom, though they had been left with no choice after allowing the publication of the offensive tweet.
"We hope this encourages other media houses to allow public criticism from staff,” said Biko Mutsaurwa, the communication rights organiser at Right2Know.
Cosatu said the tweet exposed the “troubling newsroom culture and institutionalised attitudes” which inform the station’s editorial posture.
“They cannot use staff negligence as their get out clause. They are giving themselves a social licence to offend millions of black people and then are also prepared to throw junior employees under the bus to save themselves. Cosatu finds this distasteful and hypocritical,” said Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla.
The controversial Black First Land First Movement had earlier threatened protest action against the station if it did not apologise for the tweet.
“We will embark on multiple actions including laying charges with the Equality Court. The radio station 702 is known for being anti black but this time around they have taken it too far,” the organisation said in a statement.
There have been several racist incidents that have caused public outrage in the recent past.
MiWay insurance last week found itself at the centre of a social media storm when a screengrab of an email, allegedly sent from a MiWay employee, found its way on to social media platforms.
The email allegedly reminded employees to reject 90% of claims made by black people because they are easy targets.
It also refered to them as baboons.
However, MiWay management denied sending the offensive email, blaming it on a disgruntled customer whose insurance claim was rejected.