The Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) has ordered 702 radio presenter Aubrey Masango to apologise for “disrespectful” and “denigrating” remarks he aimed at a caller during a show in August.
The complaint related to a discussion during the Late Night Talk Show‚ hosted by Masango‚ which was broadcast on August 6. The topic was land expropriation without compensation.
The complainant‚ Pieter Greyling‚ phoned in to give his view about the land question. In Greyling’s complaint‚ he stated that Masango twisted his words to say that the Khoisan were lesser Africans.
“He called me a liar and then later said that I said the Khoisan are lesser Africans‚ which I did not say at all. It was difficult to put into words the frustration‚ hurt and belittling I felt during this unfair‚ humiliating discussion about me. Especially when I did not get the opportunity to defend myself.
“It is disgusting that a radio representative would take so much time on air to humiliate another person‚ and lying in the process‚” Greyling stated in his complaint.
Greyling added that Masango did not respond to WhatsApp messages he had sent him.
The BCCSA said Masango was “very emotional”‚ interrupted Greyling continuously and ended the call without affording him the opportunity to explain his statement.
“Yeah‚ he’s an idiot‚ yeah‚ but I allowed him to get to me‚ yeah. Pieter got me‚ he got me good‚ he really got me good‚ yeah he really found and got me nice in the solar plexus‚” Masango said on air in response to another caller‚ according to the BCCSA judgment documents.
Masango ended the call after a few minutes‚ but continued to discuss and insult Greyling for an hour afterwards‚ without giving him a right to reply.
The BCCSA said Greyling should have been afforded an opportunity to defend himself and that the show lacked balance‚ adding that Masango’s remarks impaired Greyling’s dignity.
Masango repeated 57 times that Greyling was talking “utter nonsense”‚ without making an effort to explain why he was of this opinion and thereby providing an opposing view‚ the BCCSA said.
The broadcaster’s manager Thabisile Mbete‚ said Masango had been on leave and would apologise on air on Wednesday night’s show.
Mbete said the station and Masongo had accepted the ruling and would abide by it.
The BCCSA reprimanded 702 for contravening clauses 13 and 15(1) of the Broadcasting Code.
Clause 13 – the Controversial Issues of Public Importance – states that during controversial issues of public importance‚ a broadcaster must make reasonable efforts to fairly present opposing points of view‚ either in the same programme or in a subsequent programme. The clause also states that a person whose views are to be criticised in a broadcasting programme on controversial issues‚ must be given the right to reply.
Clause 15(1) states that broadcasting service licensees must exercise exceptional care and consideration in matters involving privacy‚ dignity and reputation of individuals‚ bearing in mind that the said rights may be overridden by a legitimate public interest.