Ukhozi FM‘s annual Song of the Year feature was once contentious because it sparked a days-long debate over which song made it to the top spot. Two years ago, the feature became the source of a dispute between the station and former SABC sports commentator Owen Ndlovu.
Ndlovu waged his war against the station and its business manager, Sbongi Ngcobo, on social media and mainstream media, claiming Ngcobo stole the Song of the Year concept from him and used it to earn money for the station.
Ngcobo turned to the Randburg Magistrate’s Court to get him to stop and has filed charges accusing him of bullying and harassing her with his social media posts.
One of the posts resulted in reports on gossip sites claiming she had been suspended by the station, pending an investigation into Ndlovu’s claims.
The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has denied suspending Ngcobo and calls the reports that she is under investigation and suspended “false”.
“Ms Ngcobo is not being investigated nor has she been suspended by the SABC as alleged in [the] public space. The SABC is aware of the variety of unsubstantiated allegations levelled against Ms Ngcobo and the irresponsible public statements, which are spearheaded by disgruntled individuals.”
“Whilst the SABC understands that the corporation’s services and operations are in the public interest and the institution accounts to South African citizens, it has become increasingly imperative to appeal to anyone to ensure that information reported on, is without any intentional or negligent departure from the facts whether by distortion, exaggeration, or misrepresentation.”
The public broadcaster also lauded Ngcobo for her achievements, including the station’s 2023 Radio Awards win, crowning Ukhozi FM PBS Radio Station of the Year.
Attempts to reach Ndlovu for comment were unsuccessful.
However, the KwaZulu-Natal businessman told Sunday World that he “won’t keep quiet until I get back what is rightfully mine”.
The matter between Ngcobo and Ndlovu is due back in court on 20 February.
Ndlovu has also vowed to pursue his case against Ukhozi FM and the SABC over the Song of the Year concept.