Lotus ditches ‘Idols’ man after slap

2012-10-09 00:00

FORMER Idols contestant and Lotus FM radio DJ Lendel Moonsamy has been dismissed from his position at the SABC.

Moonsamy told The Witness that he had been involved in an incident two weeks ago where he assaulted a security guard on the SABC premises in Durban.

“A colleague had run into our office and told me that someone in our car park was opening the handle of my car. I stormed out and approached a man standing in the car park and questioned him.

“He walked away from me in what seemed like an effort to avoid me, making me suspicious. I walked up to him and grabbed him by his collar and slapped him. He later admitted that he had been attempting to open the door,” he said.

He added that the man had been clad in a raincoat and his uniform was not visible at the time.

Moonsamy said that he had dragged the man into the building and alerted the security managers, who told him it was protocol to check that the cars in the car park were locked.

Last Friday, he received a letter stating that the termination of his freelance contract with the SABC had been considered and was later notified that it had been terminated because of inappropriate behaviour.

“I am not a violent person and the incident had been blown out of proportion. I apologised to the guard after the incident and offered to pay for any medical attention he needed. I was not [justified] in assaulting the man, but I feel that the termination of my contract was too harsh a punishment,” he said. Yesterday Moonsamy said that he was not allowed into the SABC building and was forced to sign final documents outside.

SABC communications is not turning the other cheek on the matter. Head Kaizer Kganyago confirmed that Moonsamy’s contract had been terminated but would not go into further details regarding the incident.

“We can confirm that there were processes followed prior to the termination of his [Moonsamy’s] contract. There are certain internal contractual issues that had been discussed before the termination of the contract,” he said.

Kganyago said that the termination of Moonsamy’s contract was a decision by SABC management and they would also consider whether to fill the now vacant position.

Moonsamy came fourth in the 2009 South African Idols contest and was since working at Lotus FM on the morning and afternoon traffic shows and as the presenter of a Sunday gospel show.

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