Hot 91.9 FM has parted company with breakfast show host Sasha Martinengo after he called EFF leader Julius Malema a “monkey” live on air.
In a statement posted on Facebook, the radio station said that it had elected to remove Martinengo from all involvement with the radio station with immediate effect and issued an apology to Malema.
“This morning an unfortunate and completely unacceptable incident took place during the Breakfast Show whereby, during the course of the broadcast, a reference was made by anchor presenter, Sasha Martinengo, who said ‘[A]nd people still listen to this monkey,’ referring to Mr. Julius Malema,” the statement reads.
“The values of this radio station include a full and unconditional commitment to the South African Bill of Rights and an all-encompassing respect for all our community irrespective of their political point of view. The statement by the presenter violated the station’s code of conduct and its commitment to our national democratic values and furthermore is viewed in an extremely serious light,” it adds. “The station hereby issues a public apology to Mr. Malema and deeply regrets any adverse inference that the conduct of the presenter has had.”
Martinengo joined Hot 91.9 FM as the station’s new breakfast host in September of last year. Before that he was at 5FM until 2012 and heavily involved in covering motorsport.