South Africans have been asking questions since Idols SA judge and Kaya 959 presenter Unathi Nkayi (43) was fired from the station.
The Midday Joy host’s contract was terminated after “certain incidents had occurred, which resulted in the breakdown of trust between the two parties” were reported by management.
According to weekend reports, she was dismissed with immediate effect following an alleged argument with presenter Sizwe Dhlomo (38), which escalated to the Human Resources department.
In a statement by Kaya FM, the station said they had terminated Unathi’s contract due to “conduct that rendered the relationship intolerable going forward”.
“Nkayi's contract has ended prematurely due to certain conduct that rendered the relationship intolerable going forward. Kaya 959 can confirm that certain incidents had occurred, which resulted in the breakdown of trust between the two parties. The business can further confirm that due process was followed, and the decision was therefore made to part ways with Ms. Nkayi,” the statement reads.
According to an article by City Press, Unathi laid a formal complaint with Kaya 959 HR department, accusing Sizwe of being verbally abusive towards her as well as being unprofessional.
“Sizwe was supposed to come in for his show and release her. Radio hosting rules state that the previous host can’t leave until the next one arrives, so she was angry that he was late. She was busy preparing for her birthday celebrations, so he was inconveniencing her by arriving late,” the insider told City Press.
“When Dhlomo finally arrived at the studio, Nkayi apparently lost her temper with him. She went on about this toxic patriarchal thing on the radio which has to end. She kept saying that she was going to make an example of him and was swearing at him in isiXhosa.”
After deliberating, the station’s HR listened to an audio recording of the incident between Unathi and Sizwe and offered her an opportunity to retract her complaint, but she allegedly refused. Sizwe has since laid his own charges against Unathi for defamation and spreading false rumours, which resulted in Unathi’s dismissal.
Taking to social media, Sizwe has answered some questions around the incident from his followers who wanted clarity.
“The City Press article is the accurate one,” he says.
Prior to the incident, Sizwe says he had a good relationship with Unathi.
“Very good my ninja. We had even spoken 20 mins prior to that incident, it was all laughs and giggles. We did get along, nami that’s why I was surprised. Do you know that she’s the reason I’m at Kaya? She is literally the one who DM’d me and asked if she could give Greg my number. So every interaction you heard was sincere.”
Sizwe went to say, “Regarding the article in the City Press this morning, I’d just like to state that in the context of GBV in our country and even on the backdrop of Kaya’s history as an organisation, a false abuse claim is not only malicious to those it’s leveled against but it also delegitimises the claims of thousands of victims whose cases fall apart because of lack of evidence. Such an egregious lie is a highly irresponsible thing to do!” he says.
“Well, verbal abuse is a very serious allegation, so I believe I would have been fired but more importantly. My reputation would have been in tatters. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to hear her side of the story.”
In conflict situations, Sizwe says he has always maintained composure.
“I’m always calm and I’m always at work at least two hours before to work on music. What happens is sometimes I’ll be too busy with prep and then I won’t come in to do a throw forward if we’re pressed for time because I’d rather complete the show first. Then I tell them to skip it,” he says referring o Unathi saying he is always late for work.
Sizwe went to say he does not feel responsible for Unathi’s dismissal.
“The entire situation is unfortunate but no, I don’t feel responsible in any way for it. I followed the procedure and exercised my recourse. I’m not feeling anything, I’m answering questions and since you ask, I actually did tell her on the email that going to HR would be a mistake, but she insisted,” he adds.
Sizwe says he has proof that he did not contribute to her dismissal.
“I’ve got records of everything I have said here today. Kaya can back it up too and if I’m lying, then challenge me. We didn’t get called into a meeting together for example. HR matters are run separately. I didn’t interact with her at all after that so I’m not privy to the details of what transpired on her side once I had logged my complaint.”
Sizwe says the incident between him and Unathi happened in the presence of his team, who can testify.
“Well, my team was also in the studio when this happened. So we had witnesses but who knows how it would have played out?”
I said timeline, not the article now. Read my timeline. I speak about how I always have to get to the office two hours before the show because I have to first prep & then do music. Read that please. We had even done a throw-forward on air at 14:43 that very day. Also available. https://t.co/O93tE5oCZ2— Sizwe Dhlomo (@SizweDhlomo) November 21, 2021
Well, verbal abuse is a very serious allegation so I believe I would have been fired but more importantly, my reputation would have been in tatters. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to hear her side of the story but like I said, the City Press article is mostly true. https://t.co/UoXWESQ1LL— Sizwe Dhlomo (@SizweDhlomo) November 21, 2021