Brown booted

2012-12-16 10:00

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Award-winning US singer Chris Brown might have a chart-topping song that appeals to the world not to judge him, but that has not ­resonated with two popular South ­African DJs.

Amon Mokoena and Thato ­Mataboge, who host a weekly midday show on Metro FM called The Secret Ingredient, flatly refused to interview Brown.

“We don’t want to be associated with Chris Brown. We are busy pushing a positive message about 16 Days Against Women and Child Abuse and here we are being forced to entertain this concert. We all know what he did,” Mataboge ­explained ­in an email.

In a chain of emails dated from December 5 to December 12 between the pair and programming manager Caren Olsen, sales manager Hazel Tlhabanyane and station manager Martin Vilakazi, the two state their opposition to Brown’s Carpe Diem tour concert currently in South Africa.

“It does not sit well with any of us. As a father to my daughter and as husbands to our wives who have never lifted even a finger to any female, it’s compromising what we stand for as a show and individuals,” continued Mataboge.

In February 2009, the night ­before the Grammy Awards, Brown assaulted singer girlfriend Rihanna after she allegedly threw away his Lamborghini keys during an altercation in the car.

Brown pleaded guilty and was sentenced to community service.

However, in the past few months, Rihanna and Brown have been spotted together on several occasions and are said to have ­revived their “friendship”.

The Metro FM jocks’ opposition to Brown’s concert is an echo of what has happened in some of the other countries he has visited ­during his tour.

In September, protesters in London defaced Brown’s latest album, Fortune, when they stormed music stores and pasted stickers saying: “Do not buy this album! This man beats women.”

Last month in Sweden, an anti-Brown crowd vandalised his posters by sticking the police mug shot of a battered RiRi on them.

Here at home, Mokoena and Mataboge’s objections fell on deaf ears.

The station manager refused to indulge the matter despite other managers understanding the team’s stance.

“We have a business to run, an interview has been booked and it needs to be executed accordingly,” was Vilakazi’s curt response.

But he was silenced by Johan van Rooyen, the acting general manager of SABC radio, who said Brown would cause the station to leave a “schizophrenic impression on ­audiences” at a time when it was supporting the anti-abuse cause.

“We are contradicting ourselves as the SABC by supporting the 16 Days campaign on the one hand and then interviewing Chris Brown, who has been exposed for beating up Rihanna.

“This could have the potential of harming our reputation with ­female audiences,” wrote Van Rooyen in his email.

He then said he would take the matter up with radio group executive Lesley Ntloko as he felt very strongly about “double standards”.

Spokesperson for the SABC Kaizer Kganyago said Mokoena and Mataboge’s views were irrelevant to the business deal made between Metro FM and concert promoter Canoc Productions.

“The interview never happened because the promoter never brought the performer, but they would have had to (conduct the interview) because this was a business agreement we had made.

“We are not the sponsors of the show and we are not hypocrites. Chris Brown would be the best person to talk about the 16 Days campaign. Why are we against him ­confessing and coming out to ­admit he was wrong? (Local actor) Patrick Shai did the same thing and yet he is on our television screens,” said Kganyago.

Meanwhile, one of the station’s DJs, Adil More, has been “taken off schedule” after he allegedly arrived at work two hours late for his midday weekend slot. His co-host, Minenhle Dlamini, is likely to run the show on her own “until further notice”.

“The station is having issues with Adil and we’ve had to not schedule him until the matter is solved,” said Kganyago. – Additional reporting by Sixolisiwe Ndawo

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