The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has given troubled Jozi FM an ultimatum to hold an annual general meeting (AGM) within 45 days or face drastic action from the regulatory body, writes Bongani Mdakane.

The station's crisis started a month ago when presenters lambasted the station on air about the way it is being run.

The station management reacted by suspending the three DJs involved and its marketing personnel.

However, the suspended staffers organised a task team comprising Soweto businesspeople to challenge the ­decision.

On Monday, Icasa called a meeting between the Soweto radio station's management, board members and the task team.

Sources who attended the meeting told City Press that the station's board members, except for Tebogo Pooe, who is also the station's financial and advertising director, failed to attend.

However, a source said: "Tebogo came to the meeting, but apologised to Icasa as he was not going to be present during the proceedings."

Sekgoela Sekgoela, manager of media and stakeholders' liaison at Icasa, confirmed that the station was given 45 days to deal with the ongoing crisis.

"At the meeting we reached the conclusion that the station should hold an AGM within 45 days," he said.

Sekgoela wouldn't be drawn into confirming whether the regulator would revoke the station's licence if they failed to sort out their problems within the stipulated period.

"I am not going to comment about the licence issue, but after the given 45 days I will be in a position to reveal our next step," said Sekgoela.

A source close to the station told City Press that on Tuesday night, station manager Nono Mchunu and programme manager Lungile Masondo held a meeting with the task team.

"At the meeting, Mchunu and Masondo wanted to know what the task team would be saying on air if given the opportunity," said the source.

Last week, angry task team members stormed the station's studios in Dube demanding to go live on air during Lucky Mazibuko's talk show programme. However, the group was prevented from doing so after management called for police intervention.

It is alleged that at the meeting the task team said they did not want Mazibuko to be the host during the debate, accusing him of being biased in management's favour.

The task team co-ordinator, David Mathebula, alleged that Mazibuko was biased, but Mchunu stood her ground saying he (Mazibuko) should be the host. Mathebula added: "Mchunu told us that the station's employees chased her and Masondo out of the boardroom when the employees mentioned that they do not recognise the task team."

However, Mchunu said: "We were not chased out of the boardroom by the staff."

In a written response to City Press Gauteng, Mchunu said that after Monday's meeting with Icasa, the station's management met with staff members who handed in a petition.

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