Sta­tion fight ends in death

Sunday World - - News - SIXOLISIWE NDAWO

A BOARD mem­ber of a com­mu­nity ra­dio sta­tion in the Free State was shot and killed, al­legedly by the fired sta­tion man­ager.

For­mer sta­tion man­ager Gift Phoofolo is out on R3 000 bail af­ter he was ar­rested and charged with the mur­der of board mem­ber Le­siea Makobane.

Naledi FM in Senekal, in the eastern Free State, is now left without a board af­ter mem­bers quit fol­low­ing Makobane’s death three weeks ago.

Senekal po­lice spokesman Cap­tain Phumelelo Dlamini said it hap­pened on the night of Oc­to­ber 27.

Makobane was shot once in the chest and died in­stantly.

Dlamini said Phoofolo was ar­rested af­ter it emerged that he had made death treats against the board mem­ber in Septem­ber.

Ac­cord­ing to Dlamini, the sta­tion had been hav­ing in­ter­nal prob­lems and had called for po­lice in­ter­ven­tion be­fore.

It is al­leged that Phoofolo threat­ened Makobane dur­ing a board meet­ing in full view of other board mem­bers.

David Sekonyela, the chair­man and only re­main­ing board mem­ber, said:

Prior to this, we were poi­soned at gun­point by in­trud­ers at the of­fices of the sta­tion. They forced us to drink a cold drink that was laced with poi­son.

We as the board had sent Phoofolo a let­ter of dis­missal, but he con­tin­ued to work at the sta­tion say­ing we didn’t fol­low the proper pro­ce­dures in his dis­missal,” Sekonyela said, adding that Makobane had han­dled the mat­ter.

This comes af­ter an­other ra­dio sta­tion in the Free State was gut­ted re­cently.

Karabo FM in Sa­sol­burg was burnt down in Septem­ber af­ter a lo­cal ANC coun­cil­lor ap­peared on one of its shows and ac­cused the mayor of cor­rup­tion.

Male­fane Msi­manga ac­cused Met­sima­holo mu­nic­i­pal­ity mayor Bru­tus Mahlaku of, among other things, abus­ing his coun­cil-is­sued credit card on liquor.

Pule Nkomo told Sun­day World in an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view that he was re­spon­si­ble for the ar­son. Nkomo said he was promised R18 000 by Mahlaku if he com­mit­ted the crime but claimed the mayor had re­neged on his prom­ise to pay him.

Mahlaku has de­nied all al­le­ga­tions against him.

Nkomo was ar­rested and is now out on R5 000 bail.

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