By now, it is old news that Linda ‘Mr Magic’ Sibiya is no longer part of Ukhozi FM. The popular Dj was fired unexpectedly last week, on the 30th of January. However, the reasons behind his axing are still not definitely known. Mr Magic is expected to reveal them in a press conference at the Durban City Hall today.
Over the past few days, people have come up with several speculations as to why he was fired. So far, we know of three reasons that have been presumed as the cause for his dismissal.
It has been reported that Mr Magic breached the SABC’s code of conduct by supporting the ANC openly, was a control freak, and committed fraud.
Last week the first report by Isolezwe newspaper cited Mr Magic’s support for the ruling party as the reason for his dismissal. The newspaper reported that he was part of several ANC campaigning events and urged people to vote for the ruling party, thereby breaking the SABC laws by which radio DJs are expected to abide.
On his Twitter account, it is evident that Mr Magic supports the ANC. In one of his images he is seen wearing ANC-branded sneakers with the name “Linda Sibiya” on them. Mr Magic confirmed his support for the ruling party. On Saturday he Tweeted, “ANC is my home and I’m not ashamed. It’s my right. I can campaign now freely for my organization. So people don’t speculate just wait for me.”
According to the information we have gathered from various sources so far, it seems like there was a conflict between Mr Magic and Ukhozi FM’s management. A source who spoke to the Daily Sun alleged that Mr Magic was a control freak.
According to the source, Mr Magic made it hard for Zandile Tembe, the station’s programmes manager, to do her job. Although she was the boss, Mr Magic, who had been with Ukhozi FM for 18 years, allegedly wanted to dictate to her on how to run things. Tembe felt undermined and wanted to be given space to do things her way. From 2008 to 2011, Tembe used to work as content producer on Vuka Mzansi Breakfast Show (VMBS), a morning show Mr Magic hosted from 2008 until last week. In 2011, Tembe got promoted to the post of programmes manager. After that her working relationship with Mr Magic gradually turned sour, ultimately resulting in Mr Magic getting the boot. When asked about these rumours, Tembe denied them and refused to comment further.
On Sunday, Isolezwe revealed that Mr Magic was under investigation for fraud. It reported that his company, Magic Communications, inappropriately received a R1.8 million sponsorship from Edcon. Edcon reportedly paid the money under the impression that they were working with the SABC. Mr Magic’s company was expected to use the money to organise an event to honour Ukhozi FM legends. However, the event never happened and the SABC did not receive any money. Thus, Mr Magic is being investigated for using his influence as an SABC Dj to defraud Edcon.
Mr Magic said these allegations were being used as an excuse to oust him. The real reasons for his dismissal are yet to be disclosed. Apparently there were internal battles within the station. He said Bonga Mpanza, the station manager, knows why he fired him and promised to reveal the truth in a press conference to be held at the Durban City Hall today at 11:00 am.
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- Communication Workers Union Against Linda Sibiya’s Dismissal