Letter to the editor: Clearing the airwaves of Lotus FM

Being an ardent listener of Lotus FM, I have seen it all and am really distressed with what is happening to my beloved radio station.

In the station’s inception years, the presenters, many who I know personally, were interviewed by a panel of people and had to prove their expertise and skills through an arduous process.

Even after being employed, they worked tirelessly to climb the ladder and earn their places on the line-up. So it was for many of the older presenters who are now stalwarts at the station and other media platforms. Their integrity and work ethic is unparalleled and I believe that is what listeners aligned themselves with and made the station a family name.

Then came in the new program manager, who swiftly changed the line-up, moving seasoned presenters off prime-time shows and filling their positions with inexperienced presenters.

Thus began the downward spiral of listenership and the proud legacy that was built over the decades began to crumble.

Worse, many had to stand by and watch this program manager hire a group of much younger female presenters to “freshen up the line-up”.

It has only now come to surface how and why these females were hired. The endless photos of parties, cruises and visibly unprofessional behaviour from him with these presenters is still evident online.

How it went unchecked for so long, is still concerning.

Over the years, these inexperienced female presenters were promoted over the seasoned jocks, which I believe led to the further decline of the brand and its listenership.

Finally, when he gets called out for his unsavoury behaviour and his contract is subsequently not renewed at the station, he doesn’t give up, instead starts a personal vendetta against those who may have called him out on his lack of professionalism and unethical conduct.

Without the protections of him, these younger female presenters soon were found wanting and one by one were dismissed from the station. 

A plot from his blackmail file, why did he not speak out while there? Why did he wait? 

What followed was a plot to fabricate allegations against other managers and staff at the station, while shifting focus that he was the main #sexpest at Lotus FM.

This is quite evident in the slew of posts and comments made by him on his social media platforms. Being a former editor himself, he has even managed to convince a few publications to front his agenda with bias and unbalanced stories. 

With the SABC appointing a commission in light of the #metoo allegations at the SABC, we were all hopeful that the rotten apples would be thrown out and the rest of thef ruit allowed to flourish.

Sadly, this has not happened.

Instead, a few opportunistic former employees have used the commission to flout their personal agendas, trump up allegations against other staff and attempt to bring the station into disrepute.

One would have expected the commission to see right through this, but unfortunately the commission seems to be flawed, having swiftly interviewed only a few complainants and so called victims, and not all those implicated. 

Then to make matters worse, instead of first and foremost, proving whether the allegations were true, they chose to rather suspend anyone implicated, and deem them guilty before even proving their innocence.

Yes, there are genuine cases and these need to be exposed, but alas, many are untrue and remain unverified and unproven.

If the SABC wants to set the record straight and clean house, then it needs to differentiate between genuine cases and fabrications, which is rather easy if it focuses on the complainant only and not others who may have disingenuous intentions.

With Lotus FM and the SABC being dragged through the mud, I do hope this filth can be washed away and those who are working hard to rebuild the brand and station can be rid of this mess and allowed to prosper.

F. Laher, South Africa


Disclaimer: The views and comments expressed in this piece are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Indian Spice.

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