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Charge opened against Martinengo – and EFF also wants to sue him

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in Gauteng is considering hauling axed radio DJ Sasha Martinengo to the civil court to sue him for referring to its leader as a “monkey” on air.

The party’s provincial chair‚ Mandisa Mashego‚ made the comment after a case of crimen injuria was opened against Martinengo at Douglasdale police station on Wednesday.

Martinengo was fired from Hot91.9fm with immediate effect on Tuesday after making the comment.

“There is no place for racists in South Africa‚” said Mashego. “We‚ as the EFF‚ are still pushing for the criminalisation of racism. We opened a criminal case and we’re looking at the possibility of suing Martinengo through civil process.”

Mashego said the fact that racism was not a crime in SA was problematic and that it put constraints on pursuing the cases further.

“We can only act within the confines of the law‚ otherwise we would really increase the charges‚” said Mashego.

Hot91.9fm managing director Lloyd Madurai said in a statement that Martinengo’s comment on Tuesday was “an unfortunate and completely unacceptable incident”.

The comment was made on the Breakfast Show that Martinengo hosted.

“During the course of the broadcast‚ a reference was made by anchor presenter‚ Sasha Martinengo‚ who said‚ ‘And people still listen to this monkey‚’ referring to Mr Julius Malema.

“Notwithstanding the presenter’s immediate and unreserved apology‚ the station has forthwith elected to remove him from all involvement with the radio station with immediate effect. Furthermore‚ the station hereby issues a public apology to Mr Malema and deeply regrets any adverse inference that the conduct of the presenter has had‚” said Madurai.

Mashego said the EFF had met with the management of the Joburg-based station.

“We met with the managing director‚ and they apologised. We really appreciate the fact that they saw wrongdoing and fired him on the spot. That’s how racists must be treated; you fire them immediately and meet at the CCMA.”

Mashego said the party would out pressure on the CCMA not to entertain the case.

“Wrong things must not be negotiated‚” she said.

Police spokesperson Kay Makhubele confirmed that a case had been opened‚ but could not provide details at the time of publishing.

Martinengo’s lawyer‚ Cliff Alexander‚ was contacted but could not give immediate comment. This story will be updated – or a follow-up issued – when that comment is provided.

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– TimesLIVE