sabc dared to act

Getrude Makhafola

Getrude Makhafola

Suspended Lesedi FM employees including, Thuso Motaung, have dared the SABC to either get on with disciplinary cases against them or give them their jobs back.

The disciplinary hearing against programmes manager Mohlalefi "Wire" Khoali was scheduled for more than three days from last Monday in Bloemfontein. But the SABC officials failed to turn up.

Thuso Motaung, his wife Mamontha, who are both presenters; Lesedi FM station manager Pula Pula Mothibi; and Khoali were suspended after the Motaungs and their business partner, Joshua Ramme, were charged with defrauding the SABC of R32million in airtime sales between 2004 and 2006.

Khoali said the SABC was "playing around with us".

"Do we still have jobs or what? This is too stressful for me. I cannot plan anything but play the SABC's waiting game," he said.

Motaung said it was obvious that the SABC "is fishing around".

"It is no use keeping us waiting. They must come out and tell us where we stand," Motaung said.

Khoali's trade union representative, Albert Makgoba, said he received a call from the broadcaster on Monday night saying that the hearing had been cancelled.

"They just said they were unable to come but did not give any reasons.

"This is a big concern for us as a union because we are talking about people's lives being put on hold," said Makgoba, who is general secretary of the Media Workers Association of South Africa.

SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago said the hearing was postponed because of logistical problems.

He said a new date would be announced as soon as the parties were notified.

Khoali said he was being charged with failing to protect the Lesedi FM logo as station manager.

He said: "The charges keep changing and now there is also a new panel for the hearing."

Makgoba said he had lined up five witnesses, including Motaung and Mothibi. The broadcaster's witnesses include Tebogo More, a portfolio manager of airtime sales.