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By Citizen Reporter

Journalist


Alex FM staff win court case against board

The interdict against the staff has been overturned with costs and an order for them to return to air has been granted.


Twenty-six staff members, including presenters, appeared in the High Court in Johannesburg on Tuesday, seeking to overthrow an interdict brought by the board against them, as well as get the station’s presenters back on air and dissolve the board – whose term has expired.

Despite one of the motivations of the case said to be getting the station’s staff back on air, Alex FM did still seem to be broadcasting radio at the time of publication, seemingly using an automated playlist.

The judge ruled in favour of the Alex FM staff members. The interdict against them was overturned and an order to return to air has been granted. The board of Alex FM has been ordered to pay the costs of the case.

A chaotic annual general meeting of Alex FM held at the Central Johannesburg College (CJC) Alexandra campus on 26 May ran short of fisticuffs and had to be adjourned due to a heated debate to look into the issues of the high membership fee that had been raised by the public, according to Alex News.

Alex FM board chairperson Pamela Mallela was forced to adjourn the meeting after members of the EFF demanded that they be allowed to participate in the election of a new board, despite being non-card carrying members.

According to the station’s constitution, one can only participate in the election of new board members if one is a member of the station and have paid the annual membership fee of R100.

Advocate Mzukisi Ndabeni arguing on behalf of the Alex FM presenters in court. 

A meeting that started at 10am had to be called off at 5pm after EFF councillor Moshe Mphahlele and members of his party refused to be excluded from the election process. However, Mphahlele and his party members’ names were not in the voters’ roll.

Another contested issue was treasurer Bongani Mandita’s report that was rejected due to a lack of some critical information, such as the firm that compiled the unsigned and undated report, and the R100 membership fee.

“We are not going to allow this illegitimate board whose term of office has expired, to discriminate [against] our people simply because they can’t afford the R100 annual membership fee. The AGM is the highest decision-making body, not members of the board,” Mphahlele said.

Jimmy Masingi of the Alex FM Listeners’ Forum said they were extremely disappointed by the board’s conduct during the meeting and alluded to the treasurer’s report as the biggest bone of contention.

“The board does not want to listen to the people and that is why we got to this juncture. They want to impose their will on members. In the next sitting we will come back and fight this R100 fee,” said Masingi.

Speaking to Alex News after the meeting, Mallela said they would consult with the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa to find another suitable date for another AGM.

According to a source close to Alex FM, the community were standing behind the staff of the station, with some attending the court case on Tuesday to show support.

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board Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)