For the first time the inner workings of the massive Metro FM reshuffle have been revealed, with the SABC making an unprecedented move by detailing the circumstances around a staff member’s resignation.
Highly-placed sources within the SABC’s headquarters in Auckland Park have told TshisaLIVE that Bonang has “ruined” her relationship with those in power at the broadcaster, as management at Metro FM accuse her of being a “diva” and attempting to “hold us to ransom.”
With all the PR stunts going around, the situation between Bonang and the SABC almost seems unbelievable.
On Monday morning Metro FM listeners were surprised when Lerato Kganyago was on Bonang’s show, The Front Row, as her co-host.
The station, Lerato and Bonang had made no mention of the change and soon enough Lerato was ridiculed on social media for having “very little” to say on the show and was called a “Bonang lite.”
If you were surprised, according to Bonang so was she. She was told an hour before going on air that Lerato would be her new co-host.
The drama deciphered
The SABC does not dispute this. It does, however, blame the ill-timing on Bonang herself, hinting that she knew about the decision to give her a co-host but she “avoided” management for days.
“All of the freelancers who were affected by the changes, including Bonang and Lerato, were asked for meetings to inform them of the new line-ups. Bonang avoided these. Management tried several times to engage with her. She agreed to meetings and then missed them. She refused to avail herself when requested,” said the SABC’s Kaizer Kganyago.
Bonang breaks her silence
Bonang denies this. In an interview with TshisaLIVE she said she felt “bamboozled” and was called to a meeting on Sunday, a day before her show. She said she was then told to be in work early and it was then that she was informed Lerato would be joining her as a co-host.
“They called me. They were like, “oh come to Metro FM.” I’m like, “it’s Sunday. I am with my family.” They said “Oh we need to speak to you.” I’m like “about what?” They said “about your show tomorrow.” And I’m like “Oh really, is everything okay?'”
In her version of events, Bonang claims the broadcaster asked her to come in to work at 8am and how she was casually told she has a new presenter and producer.
The SABC calls BS – says it has proof
The SABC is livid about Bonang’s timeline. It says it was Bonang who said she would be in at 8am after avoiding meetings since the week before and giving management the run around.
“She arrived at 9am, an hour later than she said she would be. This is her own doing. Management tried to communicate with her,” said Kganyago.
Not just that, but the public broadcaster says it has SMS proof of the various attempts to have a meeting with Bonang and the numerous excuses she gave. It has also slammed her speaking out about her resignation, telling TshisaLIVE that she made no mention of there being a problem with a co-host or Lerato Kganyago.
Bonang told TshisaLIVE that her resignation was not because of Lerato, but a “matter of principal.”
“It could have been anybody else in that chair. It could have been male, female, a famous person or a non-famous person. It was principle that mattered to me,” she said.
Again, the SABC has rubbished this.
“I have seen her resignation letter and that is not why she said she was leaving. She mentioned no names and no issues of having a co-host,” said Kganyago.
Kganyago again reiterated that no-one is bigger than the station or the public broadcaster. He wouldn’t be drawn into who would be replacing Bonang, but did say that she had a co-host and that person remained unaffected by the changes.