Durban - Axed radio personality Linda “Mr Magic” Sibiya has accused his former employers - Ukhozi FM/SABC - of unfair treatment, saying proper labour procedures were not followed at the time of his sacking.
He was fired on Thursday last week following allegations of fraud and corruption.
Sibiya is being investigated for allegedly defrauding fashion giants Edcon of R1.8 million.
It is alleged that the popular radio broadcaster used the station’s image to solicit funds for an event that was to be held in honour of former Ukhozi DJs – but the event never happened.
At a packed press conference held at the Durban City Hall on Wednesday, Sibiya said his former station manager, Bonga Mpanza, called him during his Vuka Mzansi breakfast show – at 8.45am – and asked to meet him in the boardroom after the show ended at 9am.
“I was told to come back at 2pm to tell them why they should not fire me. There was no disciplinary hearing, no suspension,” he said.
Sibiya and his legal team would not comment on the allegations surrounding the money or on the contents of the dismissal letter given to him on Wednesday last week. He referred questions to the SABC.
SABC spokesman, Kaizer Kganyago, said the broadcaster had followed the correct procedures in dismissing Sibiya. He was aware an investigation was being conducted.
Sibiya had not abided by some of the clauses in his contract, and an investigation had been done, leading to his dismissal, he said.
Sibiya has been a popular figure at ANC KwaZulu-Natal events, often as a well-paid MC. He was also the MC at President Jacob Zuma’s wedding to his sixth wife, Bongi Ngema.
Thami Mzileni, the provincial secretary of the Communication Workers Union, said the employer had not followed the correct labour procedures to axe the radio man.
He has written to the Ukhozi FM management asking for a meeting to discuss the matter, as Sibiya was not represented during the “hearing”, was not given the standard 48 hours to respond to the allegations and was neither suspended nor given notice of a disciplinary hearing.
“We cannot allow anybody to violate our labour laws… We await a response from management. If they are not willing (to meet us), we will escalate the matter further to SABC board level,” he said.
He laughed off reports that he had been axed because he appeared on an ANC provincial list and said he had never campaigned for the ANC on air.