NEWS

Petition: 'Don't Let Solidarity Advance The Conversation On Tumi Morake'

Support for Tumi Morake grows.

22/09/2017 09:14 SAST | Updated 22/09/2017 09:26 SAST
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Photo by Frennie Shivambu/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Civil society group amandla.mobi has partnered with Thoba Vokwana to start a petition urging Jacaranda FM to take a stand in supporting comedian and breakfast show co-host Tumi Morake.

"We petition Jacaranda FM and its shareholders to stand up for the ideals on which the new South Africa is built on, which are progressive and inclusive thinking," amandla.mobi said on its website.

Vokwana, a charted accountant, said it was important to "balance the scale" following the bad publicity around alleged racist comments by Morake.

Vokwana said he did not believe Jacaranda FM was doing enough to "quell the fire" that had been ignited by organisations like trade union Solidarity.

"It would be a mistake if we let organisations like [Solidarity] advance the discourse," he said.

According to amandla.mobi, the "current social media onslaught" led by AfriForum and Solidarity to have Morake disciplined is not in the spirit of nation-building and does not comprehend the spirit under which her comments were made.

The group, however, believes the comments made by Morake are her reflection and interpretation of the effects of colonialism and apartheid, which continue to play a role in the live of South Africans.

"We believe healing will truly happen when we acknowledge past wrongs, own up to the wrongs through restitutive justice, and actively support initiatives that seek to heal and unite us," Vokwana said.

"We petition Jacaranda FM and its shareholders to stand up for the ideals on which the new South Africa is built on, which are progressive and inclusive thinking," he said.

Reflecting on South Africa's transition from apartheid to democracy, Morake stated that "apartheid was about the oppression of black people".

"You cannot claim to love a country if you do not love the people in it," she continued.

"It's like a child whose bicycle was taken forcefully away from him and then you say to the bully, 'no, no, no, share the bike together, don't be like that."

Solidarity said they have been unable to reach common ground with Morake and the JacarandaFM team. The union had a closed dialogue with the team, Morake and her co-host, Martin Bester, on Thursday.

"The gist of it is that we had a robust discussion. In the end, we agreed to disagree, but we do acknowledge that we have to have this discussion," Solidarity's Connie Mulder said.

He said the station was, however, willing to partner with them to have an open dialogue about race.

"Even if we don't necessarily agree on the merit of the analogy... we are going to talk to one another going forward," he said.

Kagiso Media supports Tumi Morake

CEO of Kagiso Media [owner of Jacaranda FM] Mark Harris has written a letter in support of Morake and has commended her for the bravery she has displayed throughout the matter.

"Kagiso Media must congratulate Tumi Morake for not just expressing a legitimate point of view on the impact and result of apartheid, but also having the willingness to engage and listen to contrary views," Harris said.

"She does this despite criticism, intimidation and threats from some parties in our society," he said.

The company also said it would not allow any racial or political bias and "will not give in to intimidation or be held to ransom by any political grouping".

"Even within our company, the diversity in demographics and political leanings will continue to create debate, and this is encouraged," Harris said.