Lotus FM employees demonstrated in Durban yesterday against the SABC’s refusal to heed their call to fire their station manager, writes Teneshia Naidoo in The Times.

The radio station, which broadcasts nationally to the Indian community, has been riddled with problems this year.

Last month, station manager Gail Samuels received a final warning from the broadcaster in connection with her running of the station.

Yesterday, about 20 disgruntled employees — who have been demanding since May that Samuels be sacked — brandished placards outside the SABC Durban, reading: “No sardines this year — they also can’t stand Gail,” and “The world’s worst tragedies: Titanic, Hindenburg, The Challenger, appointment of Gail Samuels in 2008”.

The furore began in April, when popular presenters Vikash Mathura and Ray Maharaj refused to go on air because of discrepancies in their employment contract for the year. They are still not back on the air.

In May, youth presenter CJ Benjamin, who hosted the popular afternoon show Youth Crossfire and the evening show Off the Record, was taken off air, reportedly because of an allegation relating to public funds and breach of company policy.

The station has not disclosed the reason for her suspension to the presenter or her attorney.

On Friday, the employees, who are members of the Broadcast Electronic Media and Allied Workers’ Union , applied to the CCMA for the right to strike.

Union president Hannes du Buisson said: “Something needs to be done. We will not stop until we get what we want, even if we have to continue for five years, we will.”

Du Buisson said the union wanted transparency at the SABC.

SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago said that demands made by Lotus staff were “unreasonable and unlawful”.

Click here to read the full report, posted on thetimes.co,za.