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EFF to take legal action against Sasha Martinengo over Malema 'monkey' comment

The station's managing director Lloyd Madurai says Martinengo has been sacked with immediate effect after he referred to EFF leader Julius Malema as a monkey on the station's breakfast show on Tuesday.

Sasha Martinengo. Picture: Facebook.com

JOHANNESBURG - Hot 91.9fm says it’s fired radio DJ Sasha Martinengo for breaching their code of conduct.

The station's managing director Lloyd Madurai says Martinengo has been sacked with immediate effect after he referred to EFF leader Julius Malema as a monkey on the station's breakfast show on Tuesday.

The EFF has reacted and says it will be laying a complaint with police against the well-known media personality.

Madurai says they believe they've done the right thing.

He said: “Sasha Martinengo then went on as part of a joke to say, ‘Are people still listening to this monkey?’ We believe the values of this radio station include a full and unconditional commitment to the South African Bill of Rights and based on this we feel that Sasha Martinengo violated the station’s code of conduct.”

Martinengo's lawyer Cliff Alexander has responded: “I think people, including yourself, know that Sasha Martinengo is not a racist. It’s as simple as that. He came out, it was on air and he immediately issued a public apology, unreservedly so.”

Alexander says they might challenge the dismissal.

“That is another issue he will take up with labour lawyers and ask for a determination. An opinion will be stated.”

He adds Martinengo’s comment has been taken out of context and they will explain in court.

“Sasha has been advised to refrain from commentary or explaining the content or in what concept the word monkey was utilised in addressing Mr Malema.”

In a tweet on Tuesday morning, Martinengo apologised but didn't retract his comment.

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.”

'SORRY'

In a statement, the station's managing director apologised to Malema.

“As such, notwithstanding the presenter’s immediate and unreserved apology, the station has forthwith elected to remove him from all involvement with the radio station with immediate effect. Furthermore, the station hereby issues a public apology to Mr Malema and deeply regrets any adverse inference that the conduct of the presenter has had.”

He reiterated the station’s commitment to all communities irrespective of their beliefs.

“To this end, the station renews its commitment to the Icasa Broadcasting Standards and to the national Constitution and has taken detailed remedial steps to ensure non-recurrence of such behaviour.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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