Lotus FM’s Neville Pillay quits over SABC manager threats

Neville Pillay. (Photo: YouTube)
Neville Pillay. (Photo: YouTube)

Cape Town – The Lotus FM presenter Neville Pillay of Morning Rush has quit the SABC’s struggling Durban-based radio station catering to listeners of the Indian diaspora over alleged SABC manager threats. 

Neville Pillay told Lotus FM he’s done and on Sunday on Facebook explained why he decided to leave the SABC radio station that has seen its listener numbers plunge the past few months. 

On Facebook he said the past 5 years at Lotus FM has been “incredible” despite the controversial former SABC boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s disastrous 90% local music decree in mid-2016 that has decimated the radio station’s listenership. 

Neville Pillay said that last week Thursday during a meeting he questioned the state of the Lotus FM studio. 

“It’s in poor shape, almost nothing works and it’s held together by sticky tape almost.” He said the state of Lotus FM’s studio “isn’t a reflection of our station manager, rather the SABC as a whole”. 

“When I asked him what’s to be done, the marketing manager interjected. He said you guys don’t deserve any new equipment because you put your feet up on the desk and eat in the studio”. 

“I agree I do put my feet up on the desk every now and then but I said ‘We don’t eat in the studio. He then proceeded to tell me ‘I will f– cut you down to size, you hear me’.” 

“Never in my entire radio career has anyone in management spoken to me that way,” says Neville Pillay. 

“That’s when I made the decision to walk out, I didn’t even respond to him. Alvin Pillay just stood by and watched and never intervened.” 

Neville Pillay said “Life has bigger things in store but I just needed people to know this is what happened”. 

Lotus FM station manager Alvin Pillay and marketing manager Randheer Balbadan didn’t respond to a media enquiry made on Monday seeking comment from Lotus FM regarding Neville Pillay leaving the radio station, the circumstances under which he did so and Neville Pillay’s claims about the incident. 

On Tuesday morning Neville Pillay on his Facebook page wrote: “Thank you everyone for your love and support, I declare that chapter in my life officially closed”.