- Sasha Martinengo’s lawyer is worried that any legal action against the radio personality could permanently damage his reputation
- Martinengo is embroiled in scandal after he called EFF leader Julius Malema a monkey during a live radio broadcast
- He has since apologised for the remark but added that he stood by his original sentiment that anyone who is disrespectful to a woman is a monkey
Sasha Martinengo’s lawyer is worried that the pending legal action against his client could do serious, permanent and irrespirable harm to his reputation. The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has confirmed that it intends to lay criminal charges against Martinengo.
This comes after Martinengo called EFF leader Julius Malema a monkey during a live radio broadcast on Tuesday morning. Martinengo was summarily fired from his position at Hot 91.9 FM for committing a serious breach of the code of conduct enforced by the broadcaster.
Martinengo’s lawyer Cliff Alexander said he was prepared to fight any legal action which resulted from the incident. Alexander said he and Martinengo were still considering whether or not to appeal his dismissal from the radio station.
Briefly.co.za gathered that Alexander said the EFF, like any other organisation or individual in the country, was free to open a criminal case against his client as was their right under the Constitution of the country.
EWN.co.za reported that Alexander urged the EFF to carefully consider whether to go ahead with the criminal matter because such charges invariable led to permanent damage to the defendant’s reputation regardless of whether they are convicted or cleared.
Alexander reiterated that Martinengo is not a racist and his comment was not intended as a racial slur. He pointed out that Martinengo’s comment should be taken within the context of the conversation he was having at the time.
Martinengo’s monkey comment caused mass outrage due to the well documented and long history of racial connotation the word has when used to compare a black person to a monkey.
Hot 91.9 FM station manager Lloyd Madurai stood by the station’s decision to fire Martinengo with immediate effect. Madurai said he believed the station had acted appropriately in the matter.
Madurai said the broadcaster had an ethical and moral duty to be totally committed to South Africa’s Bill of Rights.
Alexander said he had advised his client not to make any further public or social media statements about the incident. He said any additional explanation would be done once the matter was in front of the courts.
Alexander added that he believed that a majority of people do not think his client is a racist. He applauded Martinengo for issuing an immediate live apology for the comment.
Meanwhile, SuperSport just announced it had severed all ties with Martinengo with immediate effect. Martinengo has at various time hosted motorsport shows for the sports broadcaster, he is known as an avid Formula 1 fan and ‘guru’.
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