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'Tumi Morake Was Only 12 Years Old In '94 -- What Serious Suffering Did She Experience?'

"I was saddened and felt that Tumi Morake crossed the line with such a statement and unfounded idea."

19/10/2017 06:01 SAST | Updated 19/10/2017 06:02 SAST
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Tumi Morake.

Comedian and Jacaranda FM breakfast show co-host Tumi Morake "crossed the line" during her on-air analogy about South Africa's transition to democracy which stirred the racial pot, listeners outlined in complaints to the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of SA (BCCSA).

The BCCSA on Tuesday heard the complaints of hate speech against Morake at a hearing in Johannesburg.

It follows comments Morake made on air about apartheid in September, which upset mostly white, Afrikaans-speaking listeners.

During the hearing, some of the complaints by enraged Jacaranda FM listeners were revealed.

One of the complainants, Le Roy Bester, said it was not the first time that Morake had "crossed the line".

Bester makes reference to an incident where Morake allegedly said white people "do not cry out of their hearts at funerals".

The complainant said Morake tried to justify her comments by saying white people do not fall on the ground and moan, cry and show loads of emotion at funerals like Africans usually do.

"I was saddened and felt that Tumi Morake crossed the line with such a statement and unfounded idea... why even bring race into a sensitive situation such as funerals," he said in his complaint.

He then makes reference to Morake's alleged racist remarks last month, saying that she called white people "bullies and selfish, as we bully African people (sic)".

Bester was referring to Morake's on-air analogy about South Africa's transition to democracy. On the breakfast show she presents alongside Martin Bester, the comedian said all race groups were just expected to unite after the demise of apartheid without any form of retribution.

"You broke down a people on skin colour before you build them up. You are now saying they must just share with everybody and be friends with everybody," Morake said on the show.

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.'"

"Again I thought to myself, is this possible that Tumi Morake points to white people as if they do not have values, worth or humanity..." Bester said.

Another complainant only known as Snyman said Morake's comments were "not promoting nation-building, but rather destroying any possibility thereof".

"In my humble opinion I think she is over-confident... she was only 12 years old in '94 and what serious suffering did she experience at that stage of her life (sic)," Snyman said.

READ: 'The Most Difficult Time Was Visiting My Dad In Jail' -- Tumi Morake Speaks To HuffPost SA

The complainant then said that black people were never held accountable for their utterances.

"If you are black, you can say whatever you want and get away with it. If you happen to be light of skin colour, you better keep you mouth shut (sic)," Snyman said.

The Jacaranda FM listener then denies being racist, claiming to interact with black people on a regular basis.

"Please don't misunderstand me as being racist. I get on so well with thousands of the African culture people in business and in private. I've never had a problem but this one was too much (sic)," Snyman explained.

"Please Tumi as the people in Spur you will have to pay for my therapy and like Helen Zille you will have to take back what you said and be suspended for your pro-blackness (sic)."

A complainant known as Steyn said Morake stated that she was "pro-black and this by implication she specifically excluded non-black people and this is highly racist".

Another named Jones said Morake had antagonised white people.

"She is of a different race and she believes her race is superior, pro black and that all (sic)," according to Jones.

"Please Tumi as the people in Spur you will have to pay for my therapy and like Helen Zille you will have to take back what you said and be suspended for your pro-blackness (sic)," Jones added.

Jacaranda FM's lawyer, Justine Limpitlaw, who spoke on behalf of Morake at the BCCSA hearing, said it was clear she was not guilty of hate speech.

"Morake made an analogy and did not directly say white people should be punished... we are dealing with the discomfort that a number of white people feel about apartheid," she told commissioners Professors Bonke Clayton Dumisa, Sunette Lötter and Advocate Boitumelo Thlakung.

"None of Morake's remarks sanctions or glamourises violence or advocates hatred," Limpitlaw said.

The commission is expected to give a ruling on the matter next month.