Like Julius Malema who said stuff and sang songs that are likely cost him his position as President of the ruling African National Congress Youth League – Mark Esterhuysen, too, did the same when he was swearing away his job as a newsreader at Primedia’s Radio702. This must have taken guts, courage and planning.
… or so I can conclude that it did take the three for him to have said what he said which resulted in him losing his job. I admire that in a man. You might agree with me (or maybe not) that Esterhuysen has now joined The Controversial Club. Well this is a name I just coined at the time of writing for people who say things that other people are afraid of saying for fear of being called racists and all the other name-calling that come with doing so. The Controversial Club includes, among others, Malema, Steve Hofmeyr, Gareth Cliff, Annelie Botes, etc. Who did I leave out?
Esterhuysen was allegedly swearing, saying all sorts of names after each “fuck” word. He is heard in a video clip as saying: Fuck racism. Fuck the pigs who killed Andries Tatane. Fuck the AWB. Fuck racism. We are all wild animals meant to live free. Fuck capitalism. Fuck fascism. Fuck this fucking wage-slavery graveyard shit. Fuck domestication.” He continued to say: “Fuck Malema. Fuck the state. Fuck perpetual economic growth on a finite planet. This is the only fucking planet we have. If you don’t agree with me, please see my blog: markesterhuysen.blogspot.com. Peace. Love. Respect. Anarchy. Follow me on Twitter @markesterhuysen. You can follow me on Facebook, as well. Mark Esterhuysen”.
Like someone said on the social network at the time of this report – that no one from the radio station – except its New editor-in-chief Katy Katopodis, who said “I don’t think it’s appropriate [for Esterhuysen] to use our platform, which is credible, to promote [his] own agenda – has publicly condemned Esterhuysen’s comments is quite a disappointment, if not unexpected. This is because had this been by a newsreader from South African Public Broadcasting Corporation we would have heard criticism flying in from Radio702’s (news) presenters criticising that newsreader, which would have likely fueled the negative reporting and criticism the public broadcaster has received recently. So what does that mean?
In his interview with The Star newspaper, Esterhuysen allegedly told a security guard when he left his employer’s property that: “Tell the corporation to go fuck themselves.” I personally think we should cut the guy some slack because he said he will accept consequence for these bullshit comments, which he now is. It seemed he could no longer cope with the pressure and workload of his job.
And something that will of course be denied by Radio702 – which is expected – is allegations that he was censored. Having started his job in May this year, it was four months into the job that Esterhuysen said he was a “wage slave”, which apparently left him this deeply disillusioned. He said [Primedia as one of the] corporate media organisations was a “slave for capitalism” which did not “give a fuck about a man on the street”. “I felt like the corporation made me a wage slave for their benefit. So I figured, fuck them. I would use them as a platform for my views”, he told The Star in an interview. For these fuck comments, Esterhuysen said “Life is so much more fun when you’re not a wage slave for a corporation. My regular sleep cycle should be normal soon”.
That’s true. But he is not apologetic for his comment like he said on Twitter that: “No regrets about my bulletin. Don’t believe what the capitalists and racists say. That’s all for now.” In his sort of media statement on his blog Esterhuysen further reiterated that he was not sorry for what he had said, adding that he did “not belong to any organisation that has hierarchy” nor was he “aware of any media person who is not compromised [by his comments, maybe?]”. He was frustrated, or so he claimed, by GraemeHosken, a Crime and Military Reporter at Pretoria News, who he alleged had failed to report on his allegation of “police corruption and intimidation”. Esterhuysen accused Hosken of failing to “report the truth”. We still do not know what “truth” he was referring to though. He went on to claim he had emailed Hosken about “this injustice” but was ignored, and congratulated Kristen van Schie of The Star newspaper on her “pretty good article about [his] situation”, saying he hoped she “maintains her journalistic integrity in this corrupt world”. In a “pretty good article”
Van Schie asked if Esterhuysen’s was a career suicide or the media industry’s boldest resignation letter. This, to me, is a bit of both because I believe it was well calculated by Esterhuysen himself. And there are of course those who are praising him, and it seems has had further gained positive comments on his blog. His comments even made headlines on theUK’s Daily Mail newspaper. You go boy.
Although I think Esterhuysen was wrong to insult Malema – I however admire him because he spoke out on behalf of many other people just like Malema would and said things that other people would dare not say [to their employers even] for fear of being called a racists. Esterhuysen is right to say that people would be angry at what he said [which they are], and that they need to understand where he comes from. He nailed it when he said some among us would say “‘fuck the system’ without ever actually questioning it or having the guts to stand up and say ‘fuck you’”.
In a nutshell, what he is actually saying is that we [the working-class and middle-class] must “stand up for what’s right”. And he’s damn right. So “stand up for what’s right” and follow Esterhuysen at @MarkEsterhuysen and read his blog at www.markesterhuysen.blogspot.com.
This is an edited article, a part of which I first published at www.ilikewhatiwrite.co.za on 03 October 2011.