Power FM drops Andile Mngxitama

2013-07-21 06:00

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Controversial black consciousness proponent Andile Mngxitama, who is also the most recent addition to the Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) central command, has been axed as commentator by Power FM.

Mngxitama, who had a five-minute slot on “Rude Boy” Paul Mnisi’s Power Buro show to round up news and issues of the week, said his axing was a possible “witch-hunt in the name of objectivity”.

“I was engaged as an analyst who has particular skills that have nothing to do with my political beliefs. Who doesn’t have political beliefs?

“If we’re not careful we’ll have witch-hunts in the name of objectivity.”

He said it was “liberal hypocrisy” to suggest people could be objective.

He suggested the station managers might be “panicking” about his association with EFF. “The suggestion is that the Economic Freedom Fighters’ views are not acceptable. Paul Sartre was a member of the Communist Party and that didn’t stop him from being a philosopher.

“If I was distorting or lying, that would be a problem. I have never been neutral, I have always been BC (black consciousness). What has changed?”

He said Mnisi told him four days ago that yesterday would be his last slot on Power Buro and he agreed because “I don’t want to have a fight with Power FM”.

Station manager Ferdinand Mabalane, however, said it had nothing to do with Mngxitama’s beliefs, but more with his “active association” with a political party and the perceptions that that would create with listeners.

“We view our credibility-building as a fundamental non-negotiable.”

He said if the newcomer Power FM “opened doors for political office bearers disguised as commentators, we will be sending a discouraging and divisive message to those who believe in this brand”.

He said Power FM knew from the start that Mngxitama held controversial views, but he was allowed on the show because the station “is a platform for open, frank and nonpartisan conversations”.

He said the station hosted fellow EFF leader Floyd Shivambu two weeks ago for an hour on Chris Vick’s Power Hour, while another EFF leader, Kenny Kunene, also had extensive airtime as a guest.

“If we, as Power were scared of EFF views, we would not have gone this far with them. I am sure Andile will in future be called in for interviews, this time as an office bearer of EFF, like his colleagues,” he said.

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