Thursday, 22 October 2009

The boys will be back!

Acting Chief Executive, Human Capital Mr. Sipho Sithole yesterday confirmed that the Weekend Lift-off show with Ray Maharajh and Vikash Matura will soon return to the airwaves of Lotus FM!!!

Wednesday, 21 October 2009


BEMAWU today met with the Acting Chief Executive of Human Resources, Mr Sipho Sithole who cleared the misunderstanding about leave and confirmed that the instruction to reduce ONLY refers to compulsory leave in terms of the policy, and not to any other leave.

Mr. Sithole confirmed that no employee will forfeit any other leave not taken, but at the same time the SABC wants to encourage employees to reduce their leave.

He confirmed that the SABC will engage organized labour soon to discuss ways and means to lawfully reduce accumulated leave.

Employees must, in terms of the leave policy take compulsory leave. All other leave will remain in tact and cannot be forfeited. No manager can compel an employee to take non-compulsory leave.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Suspension of Board members and Top Management

The SABC last night suspended 4 Top Managers who were implicated in the AG’s report. CFO and Board member Robin Nicholson, Mvuso Mbebe, Anton Heunis and Mabela setekge received precautionary suspension letters last night.

We welcome this, in particular the suspension of Mvuso Mbebe which we believe was long overdue.

However, the whole of Group Executive were fingered in the AG report for serious governance and compliance issues, and they should have been suspended too. We believe the SABC is creating a precedence by not suspending the whole of Group Executive and by doing so creating loopholes, deliberately so or not, for the suspended employees to win their case against the SABC.

Discipline cannot be applied inconsistently and selectively. It is trite law and a sure and successful defense for any accused employee.

As a responsible trade union we cannot ignore this important issue and selective action by the Interim Board, and we urge the Board to suspend the whole of Group Executive and institute disciplinary action against everyone implicated in the AG Report.

We once again would like to remind the Interim Board that the SABC dismissed one of our members for taking six (6) cans of Coke. This intolerance when it comes to public money should now be demonstrated and applied consistently. If not, we will reopen all cases where members were dismissed for lesser offences committed by Group Executive and argue that discipline has not been applied consistently by the SABC. This may result in legal cost of millions again, for which this Board will be held accountable, civilly and otherwise.

Why has the Regional Manager, Mr Zakes Dube, Khabo from HR in KZN and Nokuthula Luthuli  not been investigated and suspended for the fruitless and wasteful expenditure of more than R 7Million on one single case against employees who has been reinstated by the labour court? Do they have the right political connections?

Any organization will dismiss employees as quick as possible after a fair hearing for such gross fruitless and wasteful expenditure. Why not the SABC?

Who protects them?

Why do they get indemnity for gross wastage of money but poor chris dismissed for taking six (6) cans of Coke?

What is the moral of the story?

You can waste millions of public money and nothing will happen to you, but don’t dare to take a tin of Coke. Your service of 26 years will then be terminated with immediate effect.

Is the Board saying its a free for all, just don’t take 6 cans of Coke?

In terms of the delegation of authority document the Board can cancel the contracts not concluded in terms of the this document. Why don’t they do it? It will immediately put the sabc in a financial position where all the suppliers payments could be met without asking government to help with finances. Instead, to save money, employees are unlawfully instructed to take leave when no one else is one leave.

The  more things change, the more they stay the same.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009


Letter from our lawyers to SABC’s lawyers re. Leave. We will see council today to bring an application against the SABC..



Fax: 011 269 7899
        F Malan/ R da Silva
13 October 2009

Dear Sir

We refer to the above matter and your letter dated 12 October 2009.
We wish to record the following:
1.           Our initial letter addressed to your client was dated and dispatched on 3 September 2009;
2.           Your client requested an extension to respond to the letter until 16 September 2009;
3.           Your client then requested an extension until 18 September 2009, which was afforded;
4.           On 21 September 2009 we were in receipt of your letter dated 18 September 2009 to which we responded in a letter dated 21 September 2009 and in terms whereof certain clarification is sought;
5.           On 29 September 2009 a further letter was dispatched to your offices in terms whereof a response to our letter dated 21 September 2009 is sought on or before close of business on 1 October 2009;
6.           On 29 September 2009 we were in receipt of your letter dated 28 September 2009 in terms whereof, inter alia, you confirmed that you are in the process of consulting with your client, presumably in order to respond to our previous letter;
7.           Still receiving no response, our letter dated 8 October 2009 was dispatched to your offices;
8.           You had at least 21 days until today to consult with your client and provide us with a proper response;
9.           Your client’s procrastination is increasing the urgency of the matter as our client’s members are being expected to reduce accumulated leave within 6 months from 19 August 2009, i.e. by 19 February 2010, or forfeit same.
We are taking instructions from our client who’s rights remain strictly reserved.
Yours faithfully

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Letters of support

Shree Kiritbhai Acharya


The Bala & Peru performance in Port Elizabeth was a huge success.  It was good fun and everyone enjoyed the show very much.  It was the first time that the “uncles” have performed in PE and many people  wanted to know from them when are they coming back on Lotus FM. 

Raybhai and Vikashbhai are committed to bringing communities together and I fully support all their endeavours to return to Radio Lotus.

I wish them well in their endeavours.

Yours faithfully

Kiritbhai Acharya

Priest : PE Hindu Seva Samaj

------ End of Forwarded Message


The Lotus Saga has not come to end.

Recently BEMAWU met with the Chairperson of the Board and asked her why the Lotus-issue in respect of the Weekend Liftoff show (putting Ray Maharajh and Vikash Matura back on air) has not been resolved. Her response was that they (Ray & Vikash) were implicated in a report of some wrongdoings. We requested a copy of the report, which we received.

The report made absolutely no mention of any wrongdoings by our two members. So someone has lied to Irene.

On the same day we received the report we had a meeting with Charlotte Mampane, Lulama and Mandla Soko. Soko once again confirmed that in the previous meeting it was decided to put our members back on air, but because we spoke to the media about the matter, Thami Ntenteni decided to punish them and to not put them back on air.

After we discussed the report and it was pointed out to Lulama that our members did nothing wrong and in particular there was nothing in the report, she in principle was not opposed to put them back on air, but wanted to discuss it with Ntenteni first.

Lulama (and Charlotte) undertook to revert back to BEMAWU by Wednesday, last week. They did not.

Yesterday we contacted Charlotte and she then alleged that “the stakeholder” did not want our members back on air. She also said the community does not want them back on air.

We will now engage the Board with a copy of the report and request clarity as to what our members did wrong according to the report. We will also engage the community, who are the stakeholder, to ask their opinion. We will post their response on this blog.

We have furthermore consulted our members at Lotus FM, who indicated that they are prepared to strike to undo the bad managerial decisions taken by the previous station manager, Samuels.

Vikash Matura blew the whistle on Samuels, which led to her disciplinary and suspension and he (and Ray) gets sacked for that! As a responsible trade union we will never allow this to happen. We will continue to fight to get our members reinstated.


12 October 2009

We were privileged to host the “Bala & Peru” show for the first time in Port Elizabeth, on Saturday 10th October 2009.
The show was a complete sell-out and a resounding success, indicative of the popularity of the “two uncles”.
 The most common asked question to “Bala & Peru” was “ When are you coming back on aire.  We miss your show over the weekends.  Its not the same anymore.”
Since the inception of Lotus FM in the Eastern Cape, mid-2006, the listenership has grown.  We fully support and endorse any initiative to restore the personalities to return to the air-waves.
Sincerely yours
Vinash Inderjee
obo  Ekta Committee
Tel: 041 408 5000/ Fax: 041 456 2980
Mobile: 083 413 3133

------ End of Forwarded Message

Thursday, 08 October 2009


We urge members to not take their accumulated leave. We are in the process of bringing a court application against the SABC in respect of the leave issue. No member will forfeit leave that complies with the Policy.

Friday, 02 October 2009

Salary Negotiations

Conciliation took place at the CCMA in the matter where the SABC unilaterally increased salaries of our members outside the so-called bargaining unit by 5% only. BEMAWU made it clear that we intend to fight for our members only, particularly on the basis of the SABC’s argument that they cannot afford a higher percentage increase. Instead of extending it to all employees we submitted that it should only be applicable to our members. We further argued that no other employee complained about the 5% that we aware of, and on that basis only BEMAWU members should get the increase.

The Commissioner adjudicating in the matter will issue a directive to the SABC but in the meantime has extended conciliation for 30 days.

We believe all our members should get the same increase and we will continue to fight for this.