SAHRC condemns Martinengo calling Malema a monkey

2018-10-03 22:35
Sasha Martinengo. (Facebook)

Sasha Martinengo. (Facebook)

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The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has condemned popular DJ Sasha Martinengo for calling EFF leader Julius Malema a monkey. 

During the Hot 91.9 FM breakfast show on Tuesday, the now former host, referring to Malema, remarked: "And people still listen to this monkey."

The station took immediate action and dismissed Martinengo, saying his comment "violated the code of conduct and its commitment to our national democratic values".

READ: EFF wants Sasha Martinengo arrested within a week over 'monkey' comment

In a statement, the SAHRC said it was particularly concerned with Martinengo as the utterances were made on a radio show, "where he is expected to use his massive platform in the promotion of the respect of equality and dignity".

"The commission reminds all within South Africa that the use of words such as monkey and baboon – particularly in reference to black people – has a lengthy, dehumanising, racist history and due to previous public statements of a similar nature the commission, the media and other sectors within society have explained the offensive and discriminatory connotations to such terms," the commission said. 

"The commission thus cannot excuse assumed or express ignorance around the hurtful and/or harmful nature of the use of such terms."

EFF pushing for criminalisation of racism

The SAHRC commended the radio station for taking immediate action and also encouraged the EFF to pursue legal action against Martinengo. 

Earlier today, the EFF announced that it expected the DJ to be arrested within a week, this after the party laid crimen injuria charges against him at the Douglasdale police station in Johannesburg. 

EFF Gauteng chairperson Mandisa Mashego told media that the party wanted to push for the criminalisation of racism. 

"Racism in South Africa is not criminalised and in countries like Zambia, for racism, you are deported immediately. You are not even allowed to take your assets," Mashego said.

Meanwhile, Martinengo took to Twitter to say he stood by his comments.

"I'm sorry if I offended anyone, but I stand by what I said. Anyone, irrespective of their race, colour, creed, religion, gender who disrespects a woman is a monkey," he tweeted on Tuesday.

Read more on:    sahrc  |  eff  |  julius malema  |  sasha martinengo

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