The public broadcaster has distanced itself from a DJ who was recently pull from his slot for expressing “joy” at seeing the assault of a black, female protestor during the recent unrest in Brackenfell.
According to complaints from listeners, Umhlobo Wenene’s Phiwe “Pastor The DJ” Nozewu’s tweet (which has since been deleted) was making light of serious issues such as gender-based violence and racism.
When asked if this was part of the company’s drive to clean up their heavily tarnished image, current chief executive officer (CEO) Madoda Mxakwe said the decision was standard procedure.
“Unscheduling freelancers is part of our internal controls and policies,” said Mxakwe.
“Where there is an instant or an incident where a freelancer has acted or behaved in a way the brings the corporation into disrepute, the respective managers take action. They look at the case, internal investigations are done, after which, based on the decision made, the next steps are being taken,” he added.
Some listeners have laid formal complaints about his conduct on social media, in addition to calls from the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) to have Nozewu removed from his show for his “self-hating comments which endorsed public violence and the assault of a black woman outside of Brackenfell High School, Cape Town”.
The party further called his comments a “pathetic display of anti-blackness”.
“His endorsement of violence and the breach of the constitutional right to protest peacefully is at odds with the position he occupies at the National Broadcaster and has, in essence, brought the SABC into disrepute.”
EFF Calls For The Removal of Phiwe Nozewu From SABC Radio pic.twitter.com/ZEXPlrERgf
— Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica) November 11, 2020
The SABC then issued a statement via Twitter announcing their decision to “unschedule” Nozewu a day after the EFF released their statement.
The SABC views this matter in a serious light and has therefore unscheduled Mr. Nozewu until further notice for bringing the organisation into disrepute.
— SABC (@SABCPortal) November 12, 2020
On the topic of cleaning up the SABC’s image, Mxakwe further dismissed allegations that the SABC’s recent appointment of public relations firm, PR Worx, was irregular.
“I can emphatically and on-record say that all supply chain processes were followed in procuring the goods and services of the said PR agency.
“It’s also important to note that as the SABC, we are also dealing with the legacies of collapse of governments. This has affected the reputation and image of the SABC. It is the responsibility of the current management team to restore that credibility. So, we have had to source in, albeit temporarily, the services of this PR firm.”