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".
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Someone is not reading their contracts correctly. Do they state that Gareth and Unathi are permanent employees of the SABC or as is commonly practiced by the Corporation 'Freelance' which means in their spare time they can work for whomever they please. Is their a restraint of trade in the contract, something they would have to pay a premium for? This smacks of the 'old' SABC. Next thing they'll be issuing a list of 'unsuitable music' ;-)
aaiy. . lost. . completely lost. . so this SABC spokesprson first denies that such an instruction was given out to Unathi. . then he calls back to say "yes" such an instruction was given out. . what the hack???
This just show how unfair SABC is Khaya does not need this from the national broadcaster nor need them to put his name out there, the social networks have already done that. Facebook and Twitter was buzzing with people push each other to vote for him and now we are all waiting for him to release his CD. For goodness sake the guy is with Joyous Celebration