A group of angry Motsweding FM listeners gathered at the SABC buildings to submit their memorandum, which ordered the station to fire its current station manager Katlego Mokhele.
The group also demands the extension of contracts for the popular veteran presenters.
The Oupa Matla Foundation organised what they called a “walk against language oppression” where they declared yesterday, Thursday, 28 March 2019, as ‘Black Thursday’. The march was attended by more than 150 people from the North West province, who describe themselves as listeners of Motsweding FM, an SABC radio station broadcasting in the Setswana language.
The group is demanding that the current station manager, Katlego Mokhele, resigns with immediate effect and called for the renewal of freelancers’ contracts. They also demand that investigations be instituted while veteran presenter, Snyman Rankane, acts as station manager in the interim.
The unwavering group wants the contracts of freelancers Alpheus Oshebeng Koonyaditswe, Goitsemodimo Seleka, Stella Sebalo, Will Tiro, Essence Moumakwe (Producer) and Refilwe Madisa to be renewed.
Makhuduga Mosenogi, the spokesperson of the Oupa Matla Foundation, claims that Katlego Mokhele recruits non-Setswana speakers with a pretence of addressing dialects. “Setswana is a language on its own and Motsweding must focus on that, the community radio stations will deal with dialects because that is their role,” said Mokhele.
The memorandum was received on behalf of the SABC by the acting regional manager in the SABC North West, Raymond Makgopa, who promised to deliver the memorandum to his superiors. The group only gave the SABC about two days to respond to their demands.
One of the protestors said that Katleho Mokhele was interested in bringing television actors into radio and that it has been a recipe of disaster. He was referring to Rapulana Seiphemolo, who is a Generations: The Legacy actor. “I love Rapulana as an actor but he does not have a clue about radio,” said a protestor.