Union allegedly victimised

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

Another row has rocked the KwaSizabantu mission in Maphumulo on the north coast of KwaZulu-Natal.

Local community radio station Ikhwezi fired anchor Christian Hlongwane for allegedly raping a colleague.

Last year the mission made headlines when it expelled more than 50 pupils for allegedly having love affairs.

The mission, funded by a German community, runs a school, mineral water farm, poultry farm, teacher's college and the radio station.

Hlongwane hosted the popular show Masubumbane - let's unite to bring back humanity, and Ngikhumbule, aimed at rehabilitating inmates.

He said Ikhwezi fired him for his trade union activities.

"It's not true that I raped a colleague. The feud has been going on for a long time. Management wanted to frame me because I exposed it for exploiting staff."

He said that he was suspended in January and given a letter stating his services had been terminated in May. He said that he has reported Ikhwezi to the CCMA. The case will be heard this month.

Michael Ngubane, station manager, said Hlongwane was not an employee.

"We only have volunteers. His exit is the result of his many breaches against the broadcasting code of conduct. We explained to him and he is aware of it," Ngubane said.

National Industrial Workers Union's spokesman Laurence Nsibande said its members were ejected from the mission.

"The Christians are victimising our members for joining the union," Nsibande said.