Metro FM presenter Somizi Mhlongo has taken time off following allegations of domestic abuse levelled against him by his estranged husband Mohale Motoung.
On Monday the SABC came under fire for not acting swiftly against the media personality in light of Motaung’s abuse claims.
The public broadcaster confirmed on Wednesday that The Bridge host was off air after a meeting with Metro FM management on Tuesday.
“The SABC can confirm that Metro FM management met with Somizi Mhlongo and he has requested to take some time off from work.
Management has granted Mhlongo permission to do so,” SABC said in a statement.
On Monday, public calls were cut out on Mhlongo’s show after listeners lobbied to interrupt its popular section Ask A Man in which Mhlongo gives relationship advice.
“The corporation has also noted the comments on social media about Mhlongo and we would like to point out that the public service broadcaster does not condone any acts of abuse and violence,” the radio station said.
In a leaked audio recording between Motaung and Legend Manqele, the former producer of Mhlongo’s reality TV show Living The Dream with Somizi, Motaung is heard detailing how he suffered alleged abuse at the hands of the Idols judge.
Motaung alleged that Mhlongo chased him with a knife during an incident three weeks into their relationship. “I took my [car] keys and walked out, he took a knife. I was about to exit, so he said to me ‘if you exit … I’m going to kill us both. So, I took my keys and I ran. He grabbed the knife and said ‘if you walk out, I’m going to stab you’. Now I see this different person.”
Motaung also alleged that Mhlongo beat him, leaving him with loose teeth and broken ribs during one of their many disputes.
Following a report in the Sunday World detailing the alleged abuse, Mhlongo’s camp released a statement saying his lawyers were handling the matter.
“Somizi Mhlongo has become aware of allegations allegedly made against him by his estranged husband, Mohale Motaung, published in the Sunday World on August 1.
“Given the severity of the allegations, Mhlongo has referred the matter to his legal team who are best equipped to handle the matter moving forward. No further comment will be given until such a time deemed necessary by his legal representatives,” read the statement.
Motaung has not spoken in public following the media report.