Popular morning-show SAfm radio host Sakina Kamwendo had her last Forum At Eight programme shut down by management halfway through the allotted hour. Producers were instructed to take Kamwendo off air and fill in the time with any available music.
SANEF is deeply concerned with the pulling of veteran radio talkshow host @SakinaKamwendo's Forum at Eight programme on SAFM - halfway through the show.— SANEF (@SAEditorsForum) March 31, 2018
Producers were instructed to take Kamwendo off air with immediate effect and fill the rest of the time with music.
Management was apparently furious that the presenter, in what she had been told was her final show, had made it clear that she had been kept in the dark about what her future would be when her contract ended. She also mentioned the difficulties in the past that had left staff at the public broadcaster severely demoralised.
Although she did not mention it, colleagues at the public broadcaster confirmed that Kamwendo had first heard from another – private – radio station that she would not be re-employed on the morning show. Word was that another presenter had already been signed to do the show.
At the time, Kamwendo admitted she had heard "a rumour", but had been told nothing by management. In fact, she thought she would be continuing with the programme that is widely considered to have restored much of the tattered credibility of the SABC.
Limiting @SakinaKamwendo freedom of speech & expression in this blatant manner is a serious issue and Sanef would not want to see a return to the SABC's days of censorship.— SANEF (@SAEditorsForum) March 31, 2018
During her tenure of broadcast, Kamwendo and her team were put under tremendous pressure when they continued to invite guests who were regarded as "unsuitable" by the then-management. Kamwendo's hard-hitting interview style also apparently annoyed several of the mandarins at the Auckland Park headquarters of the SABC.
"But what they have done now is crazy," a colleague said in a telephone interview on Friday morning. "Listeners were phoning up, and they weren't happy – and then the order came to shut down the programme."
Dear @SakinaKamwendo I'm disappointed to hear about the shabby treatment you received on and off air in @SAfmRadio. I have been interviewed by you over the past 10yrs and I know that you are one of our very best. Strength to you. This too, shall pass.— ProfTinyiko Maluleke (@ProfTinyiko) March 31, 2018
I still can't understand who are behind the abrupt taking off @SakinaKamwendo off air for no good reason.— Ransom Nformi CIA,CISA,QAR,FIIA (@RansomNformi) March 31, 2018
So #SakinaKamwendo survived the madness of King Hlaudi to be felled by "new dawn" head honchos at the SABC? Hhayi-ke awusemuncu Mr. Don't-Touch-Me-On-My-Studio.— Mukelani (@MukelaniDimba) March 31, 2018
When are we marching against the foreigner called @ChrisMaroleng & his handlers at @SABCNewsroom for torturing our very best @SakinaKamwendo .We can't allow our TV licences & tax money to be captured by thugs. #HandsOffSakinakamwendo— Arrest Zuptas 2019 (@a_phaahla) March 31, 2018
The order was reportedly relayed to technical staff by a manager.