Many listeners of Ukhozi FM are still finding it hard to believe or accept that they will no longer hear Linda ‘Mr Magic’ Sibiya’s voice on the Vuka Mzansi Breakfast show in the mornings. He hosted the show from 2008 until last week when he was fired. Sibiya was fired unexpectedly on the 30th of January after it emerged that he was facing charges of fraud and corruption.
It is reported that his company, Magic Communications, defrauded Edcon of R1.8 million. Magic Communications spokesperson admitted that Edcon gave their company sponsorship amounting to the value of R1.8 million. However, she explained that the money was not solicited fraudulently and gave details on how it was spent.
On Wednesday, Sibiya held a press conference to reveal the reasons for his dismissal. Initially, he believed that there were people within the station who were conspiring against him. However, at the press conference, he did not reveal any information about that. He said he still didn’t know who terminated his contract because the letter of dismissal had an SABC sign and the station manager (Bonga Mpanza)’s signature.
Sibiya feels that he was dismissed unfairly. The Communication Workers Union (CWU) of KwaZulu-Natal is standing by him and is planning to challenge Ukhozi FM/SABC’s decision to axe him without following proper labour procedures. Mr Magic was reportedly not given enough time to respond and was not legally represented when he was fired. He was called to a meeting after the show and told about the investigation on charges of fraud and corruption he was facing. He was then given five hours to respond. His responses were deemed unsatisfactory and so he was fired. Thami Mzileni, the provincial secretary of CWU, said the union has written a letter to Ukhozi FM in an attempt to countermand the station’s decision to fire Mr Magic. He said if they are unsuccessful at provincial level this matter will be raised to national level.
However, SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said they (SABC) did their own investigation and followed the right procedures before deciding to fire Mr Magic. He said he was given enough time to respond. They took the decision to fire him because they were not satisfied with his responses. He added by saying Mr Magic has a right to take the matter to the CCMA if he feels that he was unfairly dismissed.
Nonetheless, it seems like Mr Magic’s dismissal will not leave him jobless. Instead, it will give him time to focus on his TV show, Sfun’ukwazi, which airs on DStv’s Mzansi Magic on Thursday evenings. Yesterday, on Twitter, Mr Magic said from May this year, the show will air from Monday to Friday. Also, it has been reported that many radio stations have been approaching him with job offers since he was fired. Lately, Mr Magic has been motivating himself and his fans, saying “It’s not over yet. The best is yet to come.”