Radio presenters tell listeners of being unpaid for 5 months

The station boss had to drive from home to the station in order to kick them out of the studio.


Three local radio presenters have used their slots to give listeners a shock of their lives, revealing how they have been coming to work over a 5-month period with no pay.

The radio casters at the popular Newcastle Community Radio 103.7 FM in KZN diverted their usual programs, blocking the airing of adverts and music in order to tell listeners of an alleged abuse they have been enduring under their boss.

The casters spoke for over 4 hours on air, complaining about how they have been coming to work and not getting paid though their bosses were making money from their talents.

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The casters are Mazwakhe ‘Kumkani’ Maphumulo, Mello Wabantu and DJ Trouble.

“Don’t think when you hear us laughing here everything is fine,” Kumkani whose show starts at 12 mid-day said on air on Friday. “We are enduring a very abusive environment,” he said.

Mazwakhe ‘Kumkani’ Maphumulo

“We are not getting paid. We are sick and tired of coming to this station,” Kumkani continued.

“Everytime we come here we smell armpits because we don’t have the money to buy ourselves soaps and deodorants,” he said.

“Even coming here it’s hard, we don’t even get the taxi fares. It’s so hard,” he told the listeners during his show from 12 to 14h30.

When Mello Wabantu and DJ Trouble entered after 14h30, they also did the same, diverting their usual programs and accusing bosses live on air of being unfair to them, taking all money to “make themselves comfortable while we suffer like this”.

One of casters said he had actually worked for the Newcastle Community Radio for the past 3 years but only got paid about “three or five times”.

He said there was a time when he got R500 as once-off payment and another when he got R1,200.

The casters have since left the station and their shows have been given to other volunteers.

During the farce by the casters, one of the bosses had to drive and take the microphones from Mello Wabantu and DJ Trouble.

Magembe Mokoena, one of the station bosses, declined to comment, saying the reporter should speak to board chairman Luka Sithole whose phone rang unanswered on Monday.

(edited by MLM, with Teboho Moloi)

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