Santosh Beharie the former Programme Manager of Lotus FM was given the marching orders two weeks ago after his contract was not renewed.
Beharie was on holiday in Mauritius, returned to grim revelations that his employment at Lotus FM has come to an abrupt end. The 45-year old SABC executive was in high spirits expecting his year on year appointment to continue at the disgraced SABC station of Lotus FM.
Beharie made a quiet exit from the station last week Thursday as he packed up his office. Management and staff were silent on the issue of his exit, which was not met with farewell that would be carried out with other staffers.
Beharie is not without threats to return to the broadcaster citing his axing from the station to be sinister and a plot against him. According to sources close to Beharie, he (Beharie) has made it clear that he will take his case to the CCMA following an internal matter where Beharie claimed he was being targeted.
The embattled former Lotus FM programme manager, Santosh Beharie is no stranger to controversy as he was suspended in 2009 over allegations of undeclared business interests, disruption of relations, leaking of confidential information and dereliction of duty.
Beharie was suspended with pay claiming in that instance he had done nothing wrong with only concerns that his image was being “tarnished”.
Prior to his appointment at SABC Beharie was the editor of the Sunday Tribune Herald and before that investigations editor with the Sowetan Sunday World.
Sex for jobs culture at Lotus FM
The explosive #MeToo events at Lotus FM are coming to light as the Indian Spice KALI unit has been working on various tip-offs on salacious events that have occurred at the station. Three female staffers have gone on record on their experiences where they have been co-erced, encouraged to provide nude and sexual content as well as being asked to sleep with these senior managers in order to flourish at the station.
Majority of the incidents have allegedly placed Beharie at the centre of these incidents of which the KALI team are verifying.
#IndianSpiceLeaks: Former staffers of embattled #LotusFM talk to our investigative team on their #MeToo experiences. More than three former staffers want their story told in hopes that this will revive the once indomitable Indian lifestyle brand that is owned by #SABC. pic.twitter.com/5M50fr7y71— Indian Spice (@spiceofi) July 5, 2018
In some instances staffers have witnessed ‘after-hours interviews’ that were engaged at the station with females. It was alleged that these women were promised jobs at the station in exchange for sexual favors during these supposed ‘interviews.’
At the centre of the above allegations are Santosh Beharie and the current station manager, Alvin Pillay. The Lotus FM #MeToo stories/videos will be aired on Facebook in August 2018 coinciding with Womens’ Month.
Attempts to gain comment from Beharie and other related staffers from the station have proved futile.
SABC spokesperson, Kaizer Kganyago has refused to respond to any investigative dossiers that Indian Spice’s KALI unit has been furnishing for the past two years. The spokesperson and Lotus FM have failed in many instances with providing comment on stories we have broke into the public space and have failed in providing public statements on what is transpiring within the disgraced station.
The fall of Lotus FM
Alvin Pillay and Santosh Beharie, the public broadcaster’s station manager and programme manager respectively have taken extreme hits from the public over their poor management approach to the PBS Lotus FM.
According to sources at the SABC head office it is alleged that within 6 – 8 weeks the station manager, Alvin Pillay will be removed from office and transferred elsewhere within SABC or also asked to leave quietly.
Under their watch the station has declined in critical revenue, loss of listenership and a string of scandals including the recent #sextape incident where allegations that Beharie was the recipient of the tapes. The tapes were a buffer to securing the employment of the said female DJ/actor who is currently still employed at the station.
It is also being alleged that Beharie is now in a relationship with the staffer where this contravenes the SABC policy relating to relationships with senior managers at the broadcaster.
It was just a week ago that Indian Spice reported the sudden shock suspension of veteran RJ Shirdika Pillai that also included the suspension of Zakia Ahmed-Siddiqui and Byron David over an email.
It is unclear on the process that is unfolding within SABC to clarify the reason for their suspensions. Read that story here
With the vacant position for a Lotus FM Programme manager, the position could potentially be occupied by Rakesh Ramdhin or see the return of Fahim Jamadar to the station.
The position for the ‘hot seat’ of Station Manager could be handed to Salma Patel, executive producer of SABC Newsbreak Lotus or to Alan Khan who anchors the ‘Walk The Walk’ show.
The above two potential replacements for the Station Manager post can be seen as the most credible appointments that are able to turn the station around with a refreshed management team.