Tumi Morake 'just quoted Hendrik Verwoerd's grandson'

19 October 2017 - 06:33 By Naledi Shange
Radio and television presenter Tumi Morake
Radio and television presenter Tumi Morake
Image: Via Instagram

Jacaranda FM radio personality Tumi Morake quoted apartheid-era politician Hendrik Verwoerd's grandson when she compared apartheid to bullying, the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of SA heard yesterday.

This was according to the radio station's legal representative, Justine Limpitlaw, who presented the station's case to the commission.

"It is specifically written about in a book called On our Moral Responsibility for Past Violations, which is written by Wilhelm Verwoerd, who is a grandson of the apartheid Verwoerd," said Limpitlaw.

"He is quoting an analogy which was used by a victim of the TRC during the TRC proceedings about how it feels to have been a victim of gross human rights abuse and yet there is no retribution there," Limpitlaw said.

Morake said during her radio show last month that apartheid was like a bully on a playground who stole another child's bicycle but instead of being punished for his stealing, the thief and the bicycle owner now had to share the bike and play together.

Six of Jacaranda FM's listeners laid complaints with the BCCSA, while some advertisers threatened to withdraw advertising.

But Limpitlaw said it seemed the complainants were simply not prepared to engage in open conversations about race and apartheid.

"I think what we are dealing with in this is the discomfort that a number of white people feel about the discussion about the effects of apartheid.

"Many, many white complainants used their complaints to make comments like: 'Tumi, you were 12 when apartheid ended . Get over it.'

I think what we are dealing with in this is the discomfort that a number of white people feel about the discussion about the effects of apartheid.
Justine Limpitlaw

"People have said: 'It's 23 years on now; why are we still talking about it?'

"There is a victimhood mentality that is happening and many were unhappy about her reference directly to the oppression of black people," she added.

Jacaranda FM said it saw nothing wrong with what Morake had said, adding that her comments in no way promoted or glamourised violence or unlawful conduct in any way.

It said it was uncommon for such debates to happen on their station, which was a music station and not a talk station, but it could not guarantee that such discussions would not arise in future.

"Have we enjoyed this? Absolutely not. Can we say that this will not happen again? We cannot promise that," said Limpitlaw.

The BCCSA will deliver its verdict in the next few weeks.

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