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Sat Apr 19 01:19:24 SAST 2014

Gay rant DJs suspended

GABISILE NDEBELE | 07 July, 2010 22:490 Comments

Two YFM DJs are under fire for playing a homophobic rant by a Ugandan minister on air.



Each of the two aired the clip, on different days, and listeners heard the chairman of the National Task Force against Homosexuality in Uganda, Pastor Martin Ssempa, fuming about "sodomy and homosexuality being forbidden in Uganda".

YFM will have to face a tribunal of the Broadcasting Complaints Commission tomorrow because a listener has complained about the "hate speech" that Mukwevho - best known as MacG - was "promoting" when he played the recording on his MacG Unleashed show.

After playing the clip, Mukwevho poked fun at a gay colleague on air, repeating some of Ssempa's bizarre and unprintable statements.

The unnamed listener wrote that Mukwevho was "laughing hysterically".

"The colleague is obviously at this time infuriated, because of the lies this guy was saying, and MacG proceeded to laugh as he asked his colleague, producer Junior Dikwa, if he performed the acts spoken of by Ssempa," wrote the listener.

Dikwa, who said his homosexuality was "not a state secret", declined to comment, saying it was a "sensitive issue" and he had not received permission from his managers to speak to the media.

Though the complaint related to Mukwevho's playing of the clip on Monday, Mpho Maboi is also under fire because she had played it on her show previously.

Ssempa's video has had more than 2million views on YouTube.

In it, he talks to journalists about the "banning of homosexuality and what homosexuals do in the privacy of their bedrooms."

The Times has learned from YFM insiders that Mukwevho faced a disciplinary hearing on Tuesday and has been taken off air.

Maboi was also suspended and will hear her fate in a separate hearing tomorrow.

Both DJs refused to comment, saying they "could not speak to The Times until the station had given [them] approval".

Station chief executive Kanthan Pillay confirmed that the complaints commission hearing would be tomorrow.

"It would be entirely inappropriate for us to comment on these matters prior to their being heard by the tribunal," Pillay said.

"YFM will be formally responding to the complaint at the tribunal on Friday."

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