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Tumi Morake's Jacaranda FM 'Racism' Case Comes Before The BCCSA

"None of Morake's remarks sanctions or glamourises violence or advocates hatred," says Tumi's attorney.

18/10/2017 15:04 SAST | Updated 18/10/2017 15:04 SAST
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The Broadcasting Complaints Commission of SA (BCCSA) on Wednesday morning heard arguments about alleged racist on-air utterances by comedian and Jacaranda FM breakfast show co-host, Tumi Morake.

Jacaranda FM's lawyer, Justine Limpitlaw, argued that Morake said nothing that could be regarded as hate speech.

"None of Morake's remarks sanctions or glamourises violence or advocates hatred," Limpitlaw told three BCCSA commissioners.

"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 said.

She said while the station did not want to alienate any of its listeners, Kagiso Media was a black-owned company and owned 80% of JacarandaFM.

"We are not going to be deflected from talking about race," Limpitlaw said.

The racial row involving Morake was sparked by comments she made during the radio show she co-hosts with Martin Bester -- particularly her bicycle analogy, where she compared a child being bullied to South Africa's transition to democracy.

"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,'" Morake said.

This led to an outcry by the station's listeners with some lodging complaints with the BCCSA. Others decided to boycott the station, while trade union Solidarity started the #TooFarTumi campaign, saying Morake's comments were unacceptable.

Pretoria-based Eric Barnard Meubels pulled R100,000 worth of advertising from the station and some of Bester's appearances at various festivals were cancelled because of his defence of Morake.

The commission will be giving a verdict within the next two to three weeks.