Sack­ing was heavy-handed, says for­mer DJ

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - NOSIPHO MN­GOMA

FOR­MER Lo­tus FM jock Ravi Goven­der says his ax­ing over so­cial me­dia com­ments about the pres­i­dent was not war­ranted and the mat­ter had been blown out of pro­por­tion.

“I don’t know what I’m go­ing to do. I’m try­ing to see what op­tions there are, but if I did get my job back I would be ha­rassed and un­der scru­tiny all the time, and that’s not how I’d like to work,” he said.

Known to fans as Ravi G, Goven­der said he was asked on Mon­day to ex­plain why he be­lieved his Face­book post re­fer­ring to Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma as an “un­e­d­u­cated crea­ture” and a zom­bie did not bring the SABC into dis­re­pute.

This was af­ter Zuma’s son Ed­ward re­leased a state­ment and threat­ened le­gal ac­tion.

The post was re­placed with an apol­ogy in­clud­ing – said Goven­der – a per­sonal phone call to Ed­ward to apol­o­gise.

“He said he didn’t want to hear from me and dropped the phone,” said Goven­der.

Goven­der also re­sponded and apol­o­gised to each “threat­en­ing and vul­gar” mes­sage in his in­box.

He was later in­formed that his year-on-year con­tract had been ter­mi­nated.

“All of this hap­pened in one day. One post changed the course of my life. Lo­tus FM was a size­able chunk of in­come but what’s more im­por­tant to me is my fans and the medium of ra­dio, I’m go­ing to miss that. I went 12 years with­out miss­ing a sin­gle show. ” Goven­der be­lieves he was made an ex­am­ple of. But SABC spokesper­son Kaizer Kganyago said Goven­der’s con­tract was ter­mi­nated with im­me­di­ate ef­fect be­cause he had brought the broad­caster into dis­re­pute, in con­tra­ven­tion of his con­tract.

It also had noth­ing to do with the com­ments be­ing about the pres­i­dent. “What­ever you do in the pub­lic space, you carry the plat­form (TV chan­nel/ ra­dio sta­tion) with you, so you must be­have ac­cord­ing to the con­tract agreed upon.” Kganyago said this was the first time the SABC had dealt de­ci­sively and with ex­pe­di­ency with such mat­ters.

So­cial me­dia ex­pert and di­rec­tor of the Dur­ban Uni­ver­sity of Tech­nol­ogy’s e-Skills CoLab, Dr Colin Thakur, said the in­stan­ta­neous na­ture of so­cial me­dia was a bless­ing and a curse. “It’s a bless­ing be­cause you can send out an idea, thought or emo­tion and get max­i­mum reach, but the down­side is that there is no scope for mod­er­a­tion or re­gret­ting.

“Once what you say is out there, it’s out there, and the more em­bar­rass­ing and hu­mil­i­at­ing the post, the more it’s likely to be am­pli­fied,” he said.

Thakur warned that so­cial me­dia did not for­get, and delet­ing and apol­o­gis­ing – even if done mere min­utes later – al­most al­ways came too late.


OUT OF A JOB: Lof­tus FM presenter Ravi Goven­der

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