DJ Fresh's Metro FM future hangs in the balance as he 'refuses to apologise'
The SABC has confirmed to TshisaLIVE that DJ Fresh is scheduled to return to Metro FM next week, but reports claim the star will not do so if he is forced to apologise on air.
The DJ was taken off air last month, with SABC spokesperson Vuyo Mthembu telling TshisaLIVE at the time that it was a matter between the broadcaster and Fresh.
According to Sunday World the DJ had been suspended after a complaint was lodged with the Broadcasting Commission of SA (BCCSA) alleging that Fresh used an adaption of the isiZulu swear word "msunery" in response to a listener on air. In a separate incident he allegedly told another listener to "stop tweeting from his ar**".
Speaking to TshisaLIVE on Monday, Vuyo confirmed that the SABC had been found guilty by the BCCSA for Fresh's offensive language and, after an absence from its schedule, the star would be returning to air on July 15.
"The SABC can confirm that it has been found guilty by the BCCSA, for contravention of clause 6 of the BCCSA code of conduct, relating to the use of offensive language used by its on-air presenter Mr Thato Sikwane on the Metro FM show 'Fresh Breakfast'. The SABC will abide by the ruling and the sanction, which was imposed by the BCCSA. The SABC is committed to ensuring sound governance and internal controls irrespective of an employee's position or rank."
However, two senior SABC sources close to the matter told Sunday World that after receiving a letter from the SABC telling him of their decision and his need to apologise on air, Fresh allegedly wrote back through his lawyers and refused.
They added that Fresh's team had allegedly given the SABC an ultimatum that he be reinstated immediately.
When contacted by TshisaLIVE, Fresh's lawyer, Genevieve Brand, said she could not comment and would issue a media statement later this week.
Fresh took to social media last week to apologise to fans about the "wall of silence" and said the situation has been frustrating.
"It’s been three weeks of not knowing what the heck is going on. It has been as frustrating for you as it has been for me. Truth be told, one of the main reasons there has been such a massive silence is because we had an impasse with the corporation. At this stage, I can’t even tell you whether this impasse is breakable."
In its statement this week, the SABC said they had made Fresh aware of the decisions against him and were surprised that he was "giving an impression that he does not know what is going on".
"Mr. Sikwane has consistently been made aware of the reasons for why he is not scheduled. It is unfortunate that Mr Sikwane is giving an impression that he does not know what is going on, when the SABC has been communicating with him in this regard."
DJ Fresh has since issued a statement, saying that he does not know when he will return to work and that he offered to apologise two weeks ago.