KZN department hits back at former Ukhozi FM presenter Linda Sibiya over claims of artist neglect

Linda Sibiya, black T-shirt, signing up to join the EFF on Wednesday. Picture: Supplied

Linda Sibiya, black T-shirt, signing up to join the EFF on Wednesday. Picture: Supplied

Published Oct 20, 2023


The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Sport, Arts and Culture has refuted claims by former Ukhozi FM Presenter, Linda "Mr Magic" Sibiya that it has neglected the creative industry sector in the province.

Linda Sibiya, black T-shirt, signing up to join the EFF on Wednesday. Picture: Supplied

Sibiya who on Wednesday this week dumped the African National Congress (ANC) and joined the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) recently claimed that the department neglected artists and those who dared to complain got blacklisted.

Sibiya, who commands a large support base in the entertainment sector in KwaZulu-Natal which he amassed during his time working for the SABC-owned radio station based in Durban, made the claims over the weekend.

That was when the EFF, led by its deputy president, Floyd Shivambu, met with KwaZulu-Natal artists to hear out their concerns.

— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) October 20, 2023

Instead, Sibiya who was a vocal supporter of former president Jacob Zuma claimed that artists who dare speak out were condemned by the department to hunger and poverty, as they don’t get booked in any government events or government-funded concerts.

During that gathering, Sibiya also launched a blistering attack on ANC MECs in the province, saying by merely having blue lights convoys, think they were gods. However, Sibiya did not name the MECs.

Hitting back, the department claimed that Sibiya, through company, TK Magic, got millions in funding from it.

Furthermore, it claimed that in 2017 a sum of R4 million was advanced to Sibiya's company for an initiative to benefit artists and his company "defaulted" on its obligations and he is yet to rectify that.

— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) October 20, 2023

“Our records incontrovertibly highlight the substantial support towards Mr Sibiya, through his company, TK Magic, which received millions of rands in financial backing from the department,” the department said in a statement on Friday.

“This fact renders his accusations not merely unfounded but extremely duplicitous. It's a profound irony that Mr Sibiya, a significant beneficiary of our efforts, now orchestrates a slander campaign against the department.”

This was in response to the now widely circulated video of Sibiya accusing the department of neglecting artists.

The department is led by Dr Ntuthuko Mahlaba who is also the provincial treasurer of the ANC.

Sibiya said he was expecting this kind of backlash and said he will call a press briefing next week to state his side of the story.

“Wow, I was waiting for this: I will have a media briefing next week re: projects that were frustrated by the department but not the current MEC,” Sibiya said in a written response.

“I will give you the full brief regarding 2017 projects etc. This will be on my capacity > it’s not over until God says it’s over: the truth shall set me free AMANDLA.”

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