A radioÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â station has been accused of being biased towards supporters of President Thabo Mbeki, Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Âallegedly banning them from Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Âparticipating in a talkshow and giving the platform to loyalists of ANC succession rival Jacob Zuma instead, writes Mandla Zulu in City Press.
Phillip Mhlongo, Siyanda Mhlongo and Sizwe Shezi, who are regular listeners of Ãƒâ€šÃ‚ÂKwaZulu-Ãƒâ€šÃ‚ÂNatal radio station Igagasi FM, say they were barred from participating in the popular programme View Point
But Igagasi FMÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s head of news and current affairs, Alex Mthiyane, has denied that they were gagged.
The problem came to a head last week when View Point presenter Gugu Kunene allegedly told them to give others a chance by calling, at most, once a week.
The three men accused Kunene of gagging them because they are Mbeki supporters.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œKunene is always giving ZumaÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s camp lots of time,while we are being told to phone once a week. In other words she has turned the station into a platform for Zuma supporters,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â said Ãƒâ€šÃ‚ÂPhillip.
The dispute started last month, when Shezi phoned to air his views during the show.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œHe was put on hold then cut off on two occasions by the showÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s producer, Hlengiwe Gumede, without any explanation,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â said Phillip.
He said that on the third Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Âattempt, Shezi confronted Gumede about why he was being cut off.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œTo his shock, he was informed that the three of us were forbidden to air views on the programme. This was said to be the station managementÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s decision. Upon further inquiry, it emerged that this was conveyed to Gumede by Kunene,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â said Phillip.
Siyanda called KuneneÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Âbehaviour ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œa direct violation of journalism ethicsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â.
Click here to read the full report, posted on the City Press website.