On Thursday the 30th of January, Ukhozi FM listeners were shocked when it was reported that the station’s top DJ, Linda ‘Mr Magic’ Sibiya, had been fired. Infuriated by this, some listeners lambasted the station manager Bonga Mpanza, accusing him of poor management skills while others threatened to boycott the station unless Mr Magic was brought back.
Initially, Mr Magic’s political interests were cited as the reason for him getting the boot. It was rumoured that he participated in several ANC campaigns and urged people to vote for the ruling party, which is against the laws of the SABC.
However, a report from the Sunday edition of Isolezwe newspaper reveals that there may be more than one reason for Mr Magic’s dismissal. According to the report, there are charges of corruption hanging over him. His company, Magic Communications, is said to have inappropriately received a sponsorship of R1.8 million from Edcon. It is reported that the money was meant to help him organise an SABC event to honour Ukhozi FM legends. Edcon confirmed making payment to Mr Magic’s company, believing that they were working in collaboration with the SABC. However, the SABC did not receive any money and the event never saw the light of day.
Mr Magic told Isolezwe that the Edcon sponsorship was just being used as an excuse to get rid of him from the station. He said he will explain about it on Wednesday in a press conference. According to what he said, it seems like his dismissal was a consequence of a conflict between him and the station manager. He said Mpanza knows why he fired him and advised the people to wait for the press conference on Wednesday where they will hear the whole truth. He promised to reveal Ukhozi FM’s dark secrets. He said he never wanted to reveal them but he will because there are people spreading lies about him within the station. He feels that he should have been issued a written warning or suspended instead of being fired.
It is unclear if Mr Magic would take his job back if he was given a second chance. His Twitter profile indicates that he may be interested in pursuing a career in politics. On Saturday he confirmed his support for the ANC. “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,” he tweeted. Sibiya will address the media in a press conference to be held at the Durban City Hall on Wednesday (February 5th).