The SABC has circulated an email to SABC radio station managers banning its stations from interviewing South Africa's first black Idol, Khaya Mthethwa.
The 25-year-old Mthethwa won the nationwide vote against 23-year-old Melissa Allison to win the eighth local edition of Idols.
Metro FM presenter and Idols judge Unathi Msengana confirmed on Wednesday that she was sent an email on Monday by her station manager Martin Vilakazi instructing her not to do any interviews with the Idols winner or any competitor.
"This Wednesday an instruction was personally given to me by my station manager not to interview Khaya. No explanation was given. I had to obey and ask no questions because he is my boss."
Msengana said fellow Idols judge Gareth Cliff, who works for SABC's 5FM, received the same instructions. Efforts to get hold of Cliff drew a blank.
SA Idols spokeswoman Ingrid Liebenberg said she received a call from Msengana yesterday morning informing her about the ban.
"We do not know what is happening. Nobody from SABC said anything to us. We are still waiting for them to come to us and explain."
Mthethwa, who will start work on his album in the next two weeks, could not be reached for comment.SABC denies sending instruction
SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago denied that the SABC sent an instruction like that. "This is not true and it is ridiculous. We did not issue instructions like that. To start with, Unathi is not even supposed to comment to the media. I am the SABC spokesperson.
"Secondly she is even conflicted by working on Idols when she works for SABC. We had Khaya on Chriselda Kananda's show last week."
Kganyago later called and confirmed that the instruction was given to Msengana and Cliff.
"We decided that Unathi and Gareth do not interview Khaya because they were conflicted. This is clearly a conflict of interests. Idols belongs to another station."
M-Net communications manager Lani Lombard said: "Idols has been a topic of conversation on radio stations around the country and Khaya's single has been playing on several stations".
via I-Net Bridge