JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Popular radio DJ Sasha Martinengo has been fired by Hot 91.9FM for calling EFF leader Julius Malema a monkey on air.

The station’s managing director Lloyd Madurai said the incident happened during a breakfast show at the Gauteng radio station early Tuesdaty, when Martinengo said: “And people still listen to this monkey” referring to Malema.

“The values of this radio station include a full and unconditional commitment to the South African Bill of Rights and an all-encompassing respect for all of our community, irrespective of their political point of view.

“The statement by the presenter violated the station’s code of conduct and its commitment to our national democratic values. Furthermore, it is viewed in an extremely serious light,” Madurai said in a statement posted on Facebook.

“As such, notwithstanding the presenter’s immediate and unreserved apology, the station has forthwith elected to remove him from all involvement with the radio station, with immediate effect. Furthermore, the station hereby issues a public apology to Mr Malema and deeply regrets any adverse inference that the conduct of the presenter has had.”

In a tweet posted following his sacking, Martinengo said: “I’m sorry if I offended anyone, but I stand by what I said. Anyone, irrespective of their race, colour, creed, religion or gender who disrespects a woman is a monkey,” Martinengo tweeted.

The EFF said it was reporting Martinengo to the police for racism. – African News Agency (ANA)