#DURBAN: In a shock move yesterday, veteran radio jock Shirdika Pillai was suspended by disgruntled Lotus FM management.
Pillai who hosts the lunchtime show was suspended over an email that she sent to Lotus FM’s General Manager, Alvin Pillay. The email addressed issues of partiality at the station between the various shows that are hosted. Pillai explained that there was preference given to the Breakfast Express show anchored by O’Neill where the station’s budget was being allocated.
- 12 July It appears that Pillai’s suspension has been rescinded and will be on-air tonight filling in for Alan Khan’s show Walk the Talk. However it is still unclear on the case of Zakia Ahmed-Siddiqui and Byron David’s suspension.
- 11 July Zakia Ahmed Siddiqui and Byron Naicker have also been suspended for backing Shirdika Pillai.
In her email to Alvin Pillay she explained how she has attempted the various alternatives to address the matter with the Programme Manager, Santosh Beharie however all of her attempts to resolve the situation proved futile.
Pillai made it quite clear that Beharie was ‘clueless’ over his budgets and each time that she raised the matter he would blame the GM, Alvin Pillay for control over the budgets.
Pillai then drafted and sent the email to Pillay and indicated that despite the fear of her removal from the station she wants this matter to be addressed.
Pillai has been with the station for over 9 years and also for the past 7 years where has worked in television; she also presents Sadhana – The Inward Path which flights every Sunday on SABC 3 at 7am.
Here’s the email that led to her suspension:
Her tenacity on radio has earned her a pair of MTN Radio Award nominations and SATMA Award nominations with a background that includes dancing, a Miss-India 1st Princess title, acting, directing, voice-over artistry, modeling and cover-girl for Foschini’s Balanced Life Magazine, as well as being a member of the International Golden Key Honours Society.
Pillai was suspended over the email as she included senior SABC executives Chris Maroleng, COO Chris Madoda, Nada Wotshela and Leuba Ramakgolo.
It is known that the SABC’s Head of Radio, Nada Wotshela has been to Durban on a number of occasions to visit Lotus FM. She had made it clear that staffers were welcome to email management over matters that concerned the operation of the disgraced station. However, Pillai has been suspended for the very same directive that Wotshela issued.
Sources have also revealed that the recent #SexTapes RJ has been allowed to keep her job but has been moved to the Breakfast Express show as the assistant producer. The matter of her indiscretion has been deemed as a personal issue and station management do not view the incident as one that brings the public broadcaster into disrepute.
But on the same note, former RJ Ravi Govender was fired within a matter of hours after he described Jacob Zuma the former president of the country a ‘zombie.’
Attempts to speak to Shirdika Pillai have been futile, she is not allowed to speak to media over the matter.