Radio station Jacaranda FM has been fined R25,000 for defamatory comments after one of its presenters insinuated that a listener had criminal tendencies, the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of SA (BCCSA) said on Thursday.
“The respondent station is fined R25,000, which amount plus VAT must be paid to the registrar of the commission on or before 30 November 2012,” it said in a statement.
Francois Greeff complained to the commission after presenter Robbie Kruse made defamatory remarks about him on-air on September 14, 2012.
Kruse had read an article about Greeff which had been published in the Beeld newspaper that day.
According to the report, Greeff stabbed a Rhodesian Ridgeback dog when it attacked him and two of his small dogs in Pretoria.
After reading the article, the Jacaranda FM presenter said: “Ek sal maar pasop vir daardie Francois Greeff as ek met my Beagle hond stap, hy sal sommer my Beagle met a mes steek.” (I’ll beware of that Francois Greef when I walk my Beagle dog, he’ll just stab my Beagle with a knife).
“Mr Kruse made several other remarks, which created the impression that I am cruel towards animals and that I roam around the streets of Pretoria randomly attacking dogs,” Greeff said in his complaint to the BCCSA.
“The tribunal held that remarks which were made by a radio presenter implied that the complainant is a person not to be trusted in the light of his having killed a dog,” it said.
The BCCSA said the newspaper report had made it clear that Greeff was acting in self-defence when he stabbed the dog, and that remarks made by the presenter amounted to defamation.