Usurped for narrow tendencies

2017-03-09 06:01
KDF chairman Ndithini Tyhido

KDF chairman Ndithini Tyhido

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The Radion Zibonele FM Social Integration mandate has been blown off course by opportunists.

As a powerful force in giving voice to our people, building skills and creating employment, the community-based media sector plays a critical role in driving the transformational agenda as outlined in the National Development Plan.

The role community-based media plays in fostering social cohesion by bringing communities together and in nation-building is immeasurable.

A few days ago, I came across this insight from British writer George Orwell. To many across the world, he is known for his novel Animal Farm, in which he explores the decay of leadership morals in the aftermath of a successful revolt by the oppressed against their oppressors.

To quote: “A people that elect corrupt leaders, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims but accomplices.”

Orwell wrote the book with the citizens of the world in mind. But his message may have a special resonance with the residents of Khayelitsha right now.

More than a year after the Radio Zibonele FM Annual General Meeting-which was held at Acacia Park- Khayelitsha residents have been exposed to the potentially catastrophic moral decay of the radio station’s leadership.

This decay is led by the fraudulently elected board of directors, and is served and supported by some of its functionaries, who are appointed by the same board into key positions in the station’s management.

Residents ought to recognize the depth of their relationship with public institutions. Institutions should be such that residents have the responsibility to elect the boards that will strengthen their capacity to deliver on their public mandate for the good of all.

The current Radio Zibonele board and some of their appointees are repeatedly destroying the mandate and capacity of this community radio station.

It has become a self- evident that the unlawful and vindictive axing of the previous station manager has robbed the station of an amount of about R500 000 as a result of the loss of the case at the Commission for Conciliation , Meditation and Arbitration.

This money could have helped improve the salaries of all presenters, especially those on fixed contracts.

The board chairperson has refused to hold an ordinary AGM to account for previous actions.

He acts like the invisible Wi-Fi signal; never seen, but causing things to happen, or like the pull of gravity of an unseen star, but definitely known to be out there, but absent in the active defence of those rituals as an embodiment of corrective action.

The Radio Zibonele board of directors, have no right of pulling off from the “social Integration process as undertaken by both the Khayelitsha Development Forum (KDF) and the Gugulethu Development Forum (GDF) especially without going to properly constituted AGM.

This is especially, when all that is only meant to hoodwink the MDDA to award a contract to purchase studio equipment from a particular company that was irregularly seconded to the MDDA after it was discovered that the previous company did not comply.

Social Integration can never be at the expense of any service provider, a white company.

That is why the destructive collective behaviour of some in Radio Zibonele is no longer a matter of speculation.

Daily, both elected and appointed officers concertedly and consistently confirm Orwell’s earlier quote.

It can be concluded that this reckless board has decided to pull the plug on the social integration process so as to fill the post of station manager before the constitutive meeting that was agreed at Goudini Spa resort in Worcester. Its criminal!

Typically, they make loud anti-corruption declarations.

When the community fails to exercise their responsibility, and when they fail to take corrective action with the power inherent in their human essence, their salvation lies in the recognition that they are no longer victims; that they have transformed into accomplices working for their own demise through their silence, ignorance, self-fulfilment, self- justification, or an illusionary entitlement to what fundamentally destroys them.

Yet there are countless others who have chosen not to be accomplices.

The community they represent is of the kind demanded by the extent of the visible decay of our beloved community radio station.

It is a community that cuts across stereo types, class, gender, education, culture, ethnicity, geographic location and political loyalties.

It is a solemn responsibility shared across all societal boundaries.

By definition, it proclaims the solemn obligation of all citizens to rise above such boundaries and to reconstitute in the collective interest embodied in what belongs to them all: Khayelitsha the land of their past, present and future.

They are called upon to enlist for a new kind of struggle for a future liberated from the perceived sentiments in which it became so easy to call for the destruction or end of something, but far more difficult to be energized by a pulsating urge to create something new.

What was overcome in 1995 by the people of Khayelitsha cannot be fought in perpetuity long after it was defeated, even when it may have reinvented itself in an order proclaimed to be new, but that is in so many ways fundamentally old and potentially more brutally repressive because it was self-inflicted.

The above equally applies to the executive committee of the KDF that chose factionalism over the interests of Khayelitsha.

. Ndithini Leon Tyhido is the Chairperson of the Khayelitsha Development Forum and writes in his own capacity.

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