Politics killed the radio star

2013-04-14 10:00

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Talk Radio 702 dumps Shaka Sisulu after ANC appoints him to youth league fix-it team

Talk show host and writer Shaka Sisulu was taken off air by Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape Talk in the wake of the news that the ANC had appointed him to a fix-it team for its youth league.

Sisulu was a freelance presenter who stood in on certain shows, particularly the dawn Early Breakfast slot presented by Ray White.

The decision to axe him came shortly after the announcement was made on Wednesday that he would be a member of the ANC Youth League’s national task team.

Station manager Pheladi Gwanga confirmed that Sisulu was axed.

“Now that (Sisulu) is an office bearer of a political party, he will no longer be a presenter on our platform, which is open and accessible to all political parties,” Gwanga said.

Sisulu said he preferred not to comment.

Sisulu, who is the grandson of struggle stalwarts Walter and Albertina Sisulu, and the son of National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu, has been active in the ANC since childhood.

But until now, he’s been better known for his work as a writer and radio presenter.

He’s also a founding member of the NGO Cheesekids.

He has served on branch structures after helping set up ANC and youth league branches in his Joburg ward.

He’s also been on the ANC’s Gauteng election task team and its national task teams for policy and communications.

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe announced the league’s task team at a press conference this week after the party disbanded the leadership three weeks ago.

The 22-member task team surprised many in the league, who said many of the appointees were unknown and had no influence in the party.

A few members, including convenor and Gauteng Film Commission CEO Mzwandile Mosina, are also over 35, the league’s cutoff age for membership.

A provincial youth league leader said she did not know 80% of the people on the team.

“I can only hope something good will come out of this unfortunate situation. The elders know best and I can only hope they used some political analysis to arrive at this decision.”

Many team members have been outspoken against expelled league leader Julius Malema.

These include Mosina, who campaigned against Malema before the league’s 2011 elective conference; John Mkhatshwa, whom Malema expelled as Mpumalanga league secretary; and SA Youth Council Western Cape chairperson Thembinkosi Josopu.

Maropene Ntuli is the only task-team member considered to be pro-Malema because she served on the league’s disbanded national executive council.

Eastern Cape ANC Youth League secretary Mziwonke Ndabeni said the ANC had ignored the provinces’ proposal to suggest candidates for the task team.

“This process is open to people who are close friends with the (ANC) leadership and opportunists because there was no clear criteria for how the (task team) will be composed,” Ndabeni said.

He said Mawethu Rune, for example, had lost his previous bid to lead the Eastern Cape and had been among those who took the league to court in 2010 over leadership succession.

“He lost the contest in our province. How can we have him back through the back door to be our national leader?”

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