SABC fires DJ Fresh day he appears on Newzroom Afrika

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - MAY 6: DJ Fresh at 5FM studios on May 6, 2008 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images / The Times / Moeketsi Moticoe)
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Johannesburg – The SABC terminated their contract with DJ Fresh, real name Thato Sikwane, with immediate effect on Tuesday. DJ Fresh had appeared on the 24-hour TV channel Newzroom Afrika on their morning show, alongside hosts Sizwe Dhlomo and Gugu Mhlungu.

Fresh, who steered Metro FM’s Fresh Breakfast show, appeared on the new news channel’s Breaking Dawn show discussing current affairs with Dhlomo, Mhlungu and others.

The public broadcaster said the termination followed unsuccessful engagements between SABC Radio Management and Fresh subsequent to “his usage of offensive language on-air, resulting in the SABC being found guilty and sanctioned by the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) for contravention of clause 6 of the BCCSA’s Code of Conduct.

“In addition, his conduct brought the SABC into disrepute, ” the SABC said in a statement.

Fresh was allegedly afforded an opportunity to remedy his contractual breaches and the SABC said he failed and/or refused to do so.

“This conduct resulted in the irretrievable breakdown of the trust relations between the SABC and himself. In a letter dated 28 June 2019, Mr Sikwane’s lawyers further stated “it is our client’s instruction that he must either return to work immediately, alternatively, that upon his commencement on the 15th of July 2019, it must be emphatically understood that no apology will be tendered”.

The public broadcaster said the letter from lawyers was contrary to Fresh’s statement released on July 8.

Nada Wotshela, Group Executive: Radio, said the SABC continues to be committed to ensuring sound governance and internal controls irrespective of an employee’s or freelancer’s position. She said they would communicate in due course as to who would take over Metro FM’s breakfast show.

“We are grateful to the team who have held the fort during this period. The SABC remains committed to enhancing the growth of its on-air personalities brands across all its platforms.

“This will be done in line with the SABC’s policies and procedures and it must be understood that when an independent contractor breaches a contract of engagement, the SABC will invoke the provisions of the same contract in line with consequence management,” Wotshela said.

The Star