5FM traffic reporter Sol Phenduka suspended

29 January 2015 - 18:24
By Sapa

5FM traffic reporter and contributor Sol Phenduka and the station's breakfast show manager Brendon Lombard have been suspended following comments made on air on Thursday morning.

Phenduka was talking about the murders of the Van Breda family in Stellenbosch on the "Fresh or Vrot" segment on Thursday morning when he made offending comments.

The only survivor of the Van Breda family murder was 16-year-old Marli van Breda.

"Sol referred to her survival as 'fresh' because she was the only person who can identify her killer," 5FM said in a statement.

"His comments, which included him saying she was 'gorgeous' and that he would 'like to axe her out', but that he 'wouldn't X her', have been seen as insensitive, with social media accusing him of making jokes far too soon after such a tragic event."

The Van Breda family were attacked in their home in the De Zalze Golf Estate in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Marli van Breda's father Martin van Breda, 55, his wife Teresa, 54, and older brother Rudi, 22, were killed. Her other brother Henri, 20, survived.

5FM apologised to its listeners who were offended by Phenduka's comments saying it had decided to suspend him and the show's producer.

The station has also decided to pull the "Fresh or Vrot" feature from the morning show.

"5FM management considers this morning's Fresh and Vrot feature on Fresh@5 to be in utterly poor taste and would like to apologise unreservedly for these comments.

"The station has suspended two members of the team and has also decided to remove the Fresh and Vrot feature completely from the show, effective immediately," it said.

Phenduka took to social networking site Twitter to apologise for his comments.

"I would like to apologise to @5FM listeners who took offence in today "fresh & vrot ". The intention wasn't to offend," he wrote.