Metro FM 'terminates' DJ Fresh's contract with immediate effect

09 July 2019 - 13:21 By CHRIZELDA KEKANA
The SABC has released a statement saying that DJ Fresh's contract has been cancelled with immediate effect.
The SABC has released a statement saying that DJ Fresh's contract has been cancelled with immediate effect.
Image: Simphiwe Mkhwanazi/2016 Loerie Awards

After being locked in a dispute for three weeks over DJ Fresh's "foul language" on air that resulted in him being yanked off air, the SABC has released a statement confirming that his contract has been "terminated". 

The SABC released a statement on Tuesday explaining that they've decided to let the DJ go following "unsuccessful engagements" and DJ Fresh's conduct bringing the broadcaster into "disrepute".

This after a complaint was lodged with the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of SA (BCCSA) alleging that Fresh used an adaption of the Zulu swear word "msunery" in response to a listener on air.

"The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) would like to announce that it has terminated the contract of Mr. Thato Sikwane also known as DJ Fresh, with immediate effect. The termination follows unsuccessful engagements between SABC Radio Management and Mr. Thato Sikwane, subsequent to his usage of offensive language on-air, resulting in the SABC being found guilty and sanctioned by the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) for contravention of clause 6 of the BCCSA’s Code of Conduct. In addition, his conduct brought the SABC into disrepute," reads the parts of the statement.

DJ Fresh appeared on a breakfast show on Newsroom Afrika as a guest on Tuesday morning.

Even though there isn't anything solid on whether the DJ will find a new home on the relatively new channel, one of the founders of the channel Thabile Ngwato offered him a slot on Twitter.

In a statement issued on Monday DJ Fresh said he offered to apologise two weeks ago, but also did not know when he would return. 

READ THE FULL STATEMENT BELOW:

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) would like to announce that it has terminated the contract of Mr. Thato Sikwane also known as DJ Fresh, with immediate effect.

The termination follows unsuccessful engagements between SABC Radio Management and Mr. Thato Sikwane, subsequent to his usage of offensive language on-air, resulting in the SABC being found guilty and sanctioned by the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) for contravention of clause 6 of the BCCSA’s Code of Conduct. In addition his conduct brought the SABC into disrepute.

Mr. Sikwane was afforded an opportunity to remedy his contractual breaches, which he failed and/or refused to do. This conduct resulted in the irretrievable breakdown of the trust relations between the SABC and himself.

In a letter dated 28 June 2019, Mr. Sikwane’s lawyers further stated “it is our client’s instruction that he must either return to work immediately, alternatively, that upon his commencement on the 15th of July 2019, it must be emphatically understood that no apology will be tendered”. This is contrary to Mr. Sikwane’s statement released on 08 July 2019.

Ms. Nada Wotshela, Group Executive: Radio stated “the SABC continues to be committed to ensuring sound governance and internal controls irrespective of an employee’s or freelancer’s position. The SABC will communicate in due course who will take over METRO FM’s breakfast show, and we are grateful to the team who have held the fort during this period.”

The SABC remains committed to enhancing the growth of its on-air personalities brands across all its platforms. This will be done in line with the SABC’s policies and procedures and it must be understood that when an Independent Contractor breaches a contract of engagement, the SABC will invoke the provisions of the same contract in line with consequence management.

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