A popular radio presenter in South Africa has been fired by the public broadcaster, SABC, for calling President Jacob Zuma a “zombie” in a Facebook post, the privately owned News 24 site has reported.
Radio Lotus presenter Ravi Govender’s contract was terminated because of concerns that he had brought the public broadcaster into disrepute, SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago was quoted by News24 as saying.
Mr Govender has not commented since his dismissal, but had earlier apologised for the post that he said he had put up in anger after listening to a speech by the scandal-hit Mr Zuma at the governing African National Congress’ (ANC) policy conference in the main city, Johannesburg, on Friday
“Just heard a Zombie Zuma giving a speech on the news. Massacring the beautiful English language. Uneducated creature. Even the other moron [Zimbabwe’s President Robert] Mugabe speaks much better,” he was reported to have said in the post which was later deleted.
Mr Zuma’s son, Edward, accused Mr Govender of hate speech, and threatened legal action against him.
“We fail as a family to understand what prompted Ravi Govender to make such a statement referring to our father as a zombie. Is this still part of freedom of speech? We believe that this is the worst form of abuse of democracy that many of our leaders fought so hard to achieve,” he was quoted by the Times Live news site as saying.
Mr Zuma has refused to bow to public pressure to resign despite being dogged by allegations of corruption.