The University of Johannesburg’s radio station (UJ FM) has received a slap on the wrist for the on-air use of the word “moffie” last month.

While discussing the issue of homosexuality, the presenter read out a sms from a listener which included the word “moffie; traditionally a derogatory Afrikaans word for gay.

The Broadcasting Complaints Commission received a joint complaint from three people and this week ruled on the matter.

While acknowledging that the word was used in the context of a listener’s sms, the commission asked, “…should discretion not be exercised in all offensive matters that are mentioned on air? Should the presenter not have excluded this word and replaced it with a more suitable word when reading the sms on air?”

It went on to say that, “Although the term “moffie” might be seen as part and parcel of a direct and provocative style on the part of the presenter, the name calling will always be hurtful to homosexual people. The term amounts to stereotyping, and it unfairly and crudely categorises persons who are gay by denigrating them and relegating them to the status of being unnatural or queer”

The commission upheld the complaint and ruled that a reprimand would suffice as a sanction in this case.

However, according to Coenie Kukkuk, editor of, a mere reprimand is unacceptable:

“This is once again a slap on the wrist – and a further case in point that these so-called ‘watchdogs’ are mere toothless poodles,” he said.

UJ FM is a campus radio station based at the Auckland Park, Kingsway Campus of the University of Johannesburg. It is operating on a four year community broadcasting licence.

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