Martinengo’s monkey comment was ‘not made as a racial slur’‚ his lawyer said

04 October 2018 - 18:22 By Nonkululeko Njilo
Embattled radio host Sasha Martinengo's lawyer says his comment was not intended as a racial slur against EFF leader Julius Malema
Embattled radio host Sasha Martinengo's lawyer says his comment was not intended as a racial slur against EFF leader Julius Malema
Image: Sasha Martinengo/Facebook

Former radio presenter Sasha Martinengo’s lawyer said it was not his client’s intention to be ‘racist’ or infringe on Julius Malema’s dignity‚ he said on Thursday.

“Our client‚ who has in the past been outspoken against discrimination‚ at no stage intended the comment that was made as a racial slur against Mr Malema‚” Martinengo’s lawyer Cliff Alexander‚ said.

Alexander’s comment comes after Martinengo called the EFF leader a “monkey”.

“And people still listen to this monkey‚” he said ‚ referring to Malema‚ on air during his breakfast show on Hot91.9 FM on Tuesday.

He was fired with immediate effect.

The EFF in Gauteng opened a case of crimen injuria at the Douglasdale police station on Wednesday.

“There is no place for racists in South Africa. 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 a civil process‚” said the provincial chairperson Mandisa Mashego.

Alexander acknowledged that a case was opened‚ but said he did not know who filed an affidavit.

“We are advised that the EFF attended at Douglasdale (police station) on October 3 2018‚ where a criminal case of crimen iniuria was opened against our client pursuant to an on air comment made by him.

“We are at this stage not aware who the deponent to the affidavit is‚ the alleged crime being complainant specific‚” Alexander said. The lawyer said the use of the word “monkey” was an emotive topic that had “both positive and negative connotation and dependent on the context in which it is utilised”.

Alexander added that the crimen iniuria charge applied to unlawful‚ intentional and serious violation of the dignity or privacy of another. “Both a subjective and objective tests are applied to determine whether a person's dignity has been infringed.”

He said the crime could only be committed intentionally and the defence of negligence is not adequate.

“Our client denies intending to infringe the dignity of Mr Malema‚” Alexander said.


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