Thobela FM has stopped using presenters for the graveyard shift as of April 1, 2019.
The SABC has confirmed the eerie arrangement for the graveyard shift at the station broadcasting in Northern Sotho.
This means, instead of the usual radio shows with presenters, automations will kick in from 00:00 to 6am on weekdays. Programmes will therefore be pre-recorded.
On Monday to Friday recordings by Ali Lamola will be playing while on Saturdays and Sunday it will be music compilations.
The new arrangement also means the listeners will no longer have direct interaction with the station during those hours.
When quizzed on why the station had decided to go the automation route, SABC spokesperson Vuyo Mthembu said the organisation was not ready to speak on the matter.
“We’re not ready to talk about that at the moment,” she said.
This is not the first time that Thobela FM has "rocked the boat”. It was recently embroiled in a social media storm following its controversial decision on the Summer Song of the Year contest last year.
Listeners widely expected King Monada to clinch the title but were shocked to hear Master KG’s Skeleton Move instead. Makwena “Kwenisto” Makgakgaand his co-host Alpheus “DJ Boeli” Mailula were accused of rigging the votes to give Master KG an unfair advantage.
The two DJs are not part of the station’s new line-up and Kwenisto has since issued a statement on Facebook denying any wrongdoing.
Other changes that will be happening at the station are that the morning drive show "Ditlalemeso", which will now be co-hosted by Lenny T and Mankoko Baby between
7am and 9am from Monday to Friday. The African rhythms show "Moribo wa Afrika" has been given a new name, "Afrika ya Dinaledi" and it will be presented by veteran broadcaster Max Mojapelo on Saturdays between 6pm and 9pm.