Radio station under fire for suspending djs

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

Angry residents of Phalaborwa are threatening to close down the Phalaborwa Radio Station in Limpopo after three popular DJs were suspended through SMSes.

The disgruntled listeners are threatening to bring everything to a halt if the station management does not reverse its decision.

The rift emerged last week when the management embarked on a controversial and contentious move to suspend Mandla Mgwenya, affectionately known as DJ Mindlos.

Mindlos was the presenter of Vuka Makwelwane on Saturdays from 5am to 8am. He also presented Soul Sensation from Mondays to Fridays from 10am to noon. To worsen the situation, the famous DJ Dijo, who is also regarded as the face of the station and the undisputed crowd-puller, was also suspended a few days later.

DJ Dijo, whose real name is Luckie Dikgale, presented a popular morning programme, Tsogang-Tsogang.

Dijo was suspended on November 23 and was replaced with Vusi Portia Mgiba, who is, according to sources within the radio station, regarded as a novice.

But it was not long before listeners from as far afield as Mashishimale, Matikoxikaya and Gravelotte begun asking about their favourite DJs' whereabouts.

Listeners were very unkind when Mgiba allegedly lied to them saying their favourite DJ was on leave.

The listeners established that their famous celebrity was actually on suspension and not on leave as she had claimed.

During the show, the radio station was inundated with incensed listeners who wanted the station to be closed if the two were not taken back on air with immediate effect.

They allegedly turned the station into a battle ground, with insults flying in the air.

To add salt to injury, the management again suspended another DJ, also through an SMS.

Mahlatse Moremi, who presented the romantic Mmino wago Fola - Cool Sounds - on Sundays, was suspended for allegedly interviewing listeners on air about the suspensions.

"This is unfair. The management cannot suspend our DJs and replace them with students who are still learning. We want them reinstated with immediate effect or else Go tla nkga go sabola - All hell will break loose," said one disgruntled resident, Grace Mametja of Mashishimale village.

Pressed for comment, station manager Ernest Ngobeni confirmed the suspensions and said they were long overdue.

"The three failed to pitch up for a hearing and there was nothing we could do except to communicate with them through SMSes," said Ngobeni.