On Tuesday, 9 July 2019, the SABC released a statement announcing DJ Fresh’s termination of contract, with immediate effect, from his popular Metro FM breakfast show, Fresh Breakfast.
DJ Fresh trended on social media after he made his debut on the Newzroom Afrika’s morning show, Breaking Dawn. It had been over a month since fans of the media veteran had heard his signature voice and laugh. His debut topped the Twitter trends list with two hashtags dedicated to him. However, following his successful appearance, the SABC went on to announce that DJ Fresh, real name Thato Sikwane, has been fired from his radio breakfast show, from which he had been suspended, with immediate effect.
The statement released by the SABC cites the reason for the termination as, “… unsuccessful engagements between SABC Radio Management and Mr. Thato Sikwane, subsequent to his usage of offensive language on-air, resulting in the SABC being found guilty and sanctioned by the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) for contravention of clause 6 of the BCCSA’s Code of Conduct.” The broadcaster further noted that DJ Fresh’s conduct had brought the station into disrepute.
This contradicts what DJ Fresh had said in his own formal statement, released on Monday, 8 July 2019. In the statement, DJ Fresh claimed that he had agreed to the public apology two weeks before Metro FM extended his two-week suspension by an additional three weeks.
Many of the DJ’s followers have already started lambasting the public broadcaster. They are alleging that the reason for the immediate termination of DJ Fresh is not because of the “impasse” but rather, as a result of his television appearance on Newzroom Afrika, and how well he was received by the TV-watching public.
DJ Fresh is yet to respond to the news. It is also still unclear if he will agree to be a permanent fixture on the television news breakfast show. This after Newzroom Afrika co-founder, Thabile Ngwato, hinted at a more permanent co-hosting position for DJ Fresh.