- The SABC has taken radio presenter Phiwo “Pastor” Nozewu off air following comments he made about violence in Brackenfell.
- The presenter of Umhlobo Wenene FM’s breakfast show, Eyondlayo Ek’seni, received backlash for a sub-tweet on Twitter and the EFF accused him of endorsing the violence.
- Nozewu has apologised for the “insensitive” comments, adding that the backlash has been an eye opener for him.
The SABC has unscheduled popular Umhlobo Wenene FM presenter, Phiwe “DJ Pastor” Nozewu, for bringing the public broadcaster into disrepute after he made “insensitive” comments about violence that recently erupted in Brackenfell.
Unschedule is a term used when an on-air personality has been taken off-air for a period of time.
In an official statement, acting SABC spokesperson Mmoni Seapolelo said: “The SABC can confirm that Mr Phiwe Nozewu [has been] unscheduled on Umhlobo Wenene FM by the station’s management, following his public utterances on Twitter in relation to a violent incident which took place in Cape Town. The SABC views this matter in a serious light and has therefore unscheduled Mr Nozewu until further notice for bringing the organisation into disrepute”.
Nozewu has since apologised.
On Wednesday, the EFF called on the SABC to fire the presenter.
Nozewu received backlash on Twitter this week for the comments, which allegedly endorsed the violence in Brackenfell.
The presenter commented on a photo on the social media platform, which showed a teenage boy dragging an EFF member during the brawl near the school’s premises. In the original tweet, which Nozewu commented on, the user had crowned the boy “man of the match” in apparent celebration of his actions.
Using slang, Nozewu sub-tweeted that the boy gave the protesters a real pounding and added four laughing emojis.
The EFF said the presenter should be fired for “self-hating comments which endorsed public violence”.
“In a pathetic display of anti-blackness, Nozewu posted his apparent joy on Twitter at the assault of EFF activists, who were attacked by intolerant [people] who believe there are sectors in South Africa where black people are not allowed to gather. 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 SABC into disrepute,” EFF national spokesperson Vuyani Pambo said.
After the backlash, Nozewu responded: “In light of what has transpired in the last 24 hours, with regards to my sub-tweet… I have decided to write this statement. It is not only directed at the EFF but every black person who was offended by my reply to the tweet in question. I have decided to acknowledge negligence and insensitivity to the matter from my side. Racism is a sensitive issue and my comments were misplaced.”
Nozewu said no harm was intended and added that he hoped the apology found resonance with those who were affected and offended.
“It has been an eye-opener for me,” he said in the statement.
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