It was on July 9 that seasoned radio jock; Lotus FM management suspended Shirdika Pillai over an email that was sent to station manager, Alvin Pillay.
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.
It was apparent that Alvin Pillay and his management team did not seem happy that the email circulated had included other staffers & the senior SABC executives Chris Maroleng, COO Chris Madoda, Nada Wotshela and Leuba Ramakgolo.
Apart from Pillai being taken off air, veteran radio jock, Zakia Ahmed-Siddiqui, Byron David and Alan Chetty (unconfirmed) were also suspended for replying back to the email in support of Shirdika.
It is known that the SABC Head of Radio, Nada Wotshela has been to Durban on a number of occasions to visit the management team at Lotus FM. It is apparent that Wotshela has iterated that staffers were welcome to email her and SABC executives over matters that concerned the operation of the disgraced station.
However, it is strange that Pillai has been suspended for the very same directive that Wotshela issued after her series of visits to Lotus FM.
Support for Shirdika Pillai was apparent on social media platforms Twitter & Facebook as the public voiced their support for her & lashed out at SABC and Lotus FM management over the matter.
Pillai has been silent on the pending situation of her suspension but she posted this on Twitter on July 12, 2018, which alluded to her being victimized at the station for her stance and her email.
Meela, i cannot thank you enough for such love and support. My heart is truly warmed by the wishes and encouragement. Thank you. Your words and sentiments are appreciated more than you will know. 🙏💗 https://t.co/cU1n4IJkMz— shirdika pillai (@shirdikapillai) July 12, 2018
Suspended or not suspended that is the question?
On 12 July Pillai’s suspension had been allegedly rescinded and was on-air that evening filling in for Alan Khan’s highly rated show ‘Walk the Talk.’ The other two jocks that were suspended, Zakia Ahmed-Siddiqui and Byron David’s suspension was lifted and they were back on air two days after the incident.
Listeners of the lunchtime show anchored by Shirdika Pillai expected her back on the airwaves the next day however this was not the case. The late-night RJ, Dees Naidu who hosts ‘Night Cafe’ between 11pm-1am has been ‘filling in’ for Pillai to date.
What was contained in the email?
The email that led to Pillai’s suspension contained her frustration over budgets and allocation of the spend to each show, it was clear in the email that Pillay attempted the proper channels to address the matter but was left with no option but to prepare the email and send to all concerned.
Pillai indicated that the former Programme Manager, Santosh Beharie – who has been axed from the station – was ‘clueless’ in addressing this matter properly and so was station manager, Alvin Pillay.
You can read the email here that was leaked into the public domain
#IndianSpiceLeaks: The email that led to the suspension of veteran radio jock @shirdikapillai from her weekly show. Visit https://t.co/MU092JHQRm for the breaking story on this latest development at the disgraced Indian radio station #LotusFM. pic.twitter.com/ZWOT5kCv1C— Indian Spice (@spiceofi) July 10, 2018
It is unclear as to why Shirdika Pillai has not returned to the airwaves following the matter however it we can speculate at current that the popular radio jock may not return to Lotus FM.
Could she be contesting the matter with SABC Human Resources or potentially is taking this matter to the CCMA.
Attempts to contact Pillai have remained futile, as she is not allowed to communicate with the media while under employ of the broadcaster.
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