NEWS

Morake 'Confident' BCCSA Will See She 'Intended No Harm'

"I just hope nobody assaults me with the old flag, either way."

01/11/2017 16:44 SAST | Updated 02/11/2017 12:22 SAST
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Tumi Morake.

Award-winning stand-up comedian and Jacaranda FM breakfast show co-host Tumi Morake will know her fate within a week, when the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) rules on complaints about "racist remarks" and "hate speech" made against the outspoken entertainer.

The case, heard by the BCCSA on 18 October and expected to result in a judgement within three weeks, relates to remarks she made on-air during a discussion about South African emigrants boycotting Steve Hofmeyr's performances internationally.

The radio presenter and "WTFTumi" TV talk-show star remains optimistic about the outcome.

"I am confident that the commission will see that I intended no harm nor committed any," she told HuffPost on Wednesday.

Morake said she continues to get hate mail from those hoping that she be slapped with "heavy punishment" for her utterances.

"There is a misperception out there about some kind of heavy punishment coming [if the BCCSA rules against her]. I keep getting 'You'll get what's coming to you' messages –– like I'll be hanged or something."

Jokingly, she added: "I just hope nobody assaults me with the old flag, either way."

"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."

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

She was responding to the claim that Hofmeyr (who has said on Twitter that "uncivilised" black South Africans were "asking for" apartheid, and that Afrikaners had "no choice" but to impose it) and other proud apartheid apologists are being "victimised" when called to account for their racism.

"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 from a number of 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.

At the commission hearing two weeks ago, Jacaranda FM's lawyer, Justine Limpitlaw, argued that Morake had 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.