‘Motherf****r’ on air lands SABC in hot water

2012-06-12 11:41

The SABC has been reprimanded after a presenter used foul language during a live airing of the South African Music Awards earlier this year.

Several complaints were lodged with the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa against the public broadcaster and presenter Unathi Msengana.

Msengana introduced the evening’s two-time award winner AKA as “motherfucker” on April 30.

Viewers lodged complaints expressing their disgust at the offensive language. The complainants argued this was inappropriate as there were children in the audience.

In a complaints commission hearing on May 24, the public broadcaster said because of previous experiences where artists had used unacceptable language, it had gone into great detail to brief organisers to prevent a recurrence.

“Unfortunately this incidence of foul language then involved a presenter,” it said.

The SABC apologised and said though Msengana was not part of its channel staff, appropriate disciplinary steps had been taken against her.

Msengana explained her actions by blaming an unknown director/producer of the show for altering the SABC-approved script before going on air.

She had apologised for her “inadvertent transgression of the code”.

The complaints commission found that the use of the word “motherfucker”, in a live broadcast, which was reasonably expected to be seen by children, was found to be grossly offensive. It officially sanctioned the SABC, but no fine was issued.

The complaints commission, however, warned that future transgressions of the code would likely not be regarded as inadvertent.

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