Gomgatte complaint dismissed

Johannesburg - A defamation complaint against radio station Jacaranda 94.2FM has been dismissed, the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of SA (BCCSA) said on Thursday.

Complainants W Botha and Hoërskool Alberton contended that a Jacaranda presenter had, during a broadcast, referred to a school rugby team from Alberton as "gomgatte".

This amounted to calling them country bumpkins, or louts.

Their complaint was dismissed by the commission's tribunal, which found the comment was not defamatory.

Presenter Rian van Heerden had commented on the head-butting of a referee by a player after a rugby match between Hoërskool Hans Strijdom and Hoërskool Alberton.

'Honest expression'

"Rian commented that he did not expect such action from a player from Hans Strijdom, but rather from a player from Alberton," the complaint read.

Later in the programme he said: "Net gomgatte stamp met die kop" (only louts practice head-butting). Tribunal chairman Kobus van Rooyen found that the statements did not defame Alberton schoolboys.

Instead, they had the effect of debunking the stereotype, as the player responsible was from outside the Alberton area.

"The commentator’s comments were an honest expression of opinion and were firmly tongue-in-cheek," the tribunal found.

"Any reasonable listener would have comprehended this."