Metro FM presenter and Idols judge Somizi Mhlongo-motaung has survived the SABC’S axe- for now- and is set to return to work tomorrow.
This comes after the reality TV star and professional choreographer was asked to step aside by the SABC pending the outcome of an investigation into his conduct, which was also deemed to be in breach of lockdown regulations on spreading fake news.
Somgaga, as Mhlongo-motaung is known among his fans, had lied that Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula told him that President Cyril Ramaphosa would extend the lockdown before it was officially announced.
But he later apologised to Mbalula and the nation for his action, claiming that it was all a bad joke.
Mhlongo-motaung, who co-presents The Bridge with Dineo Ranaka and Lerato Kganyago on Mzansi’s biggest commercial radio station, was expected to be axed by Metro FM, according to senior officials.
SABC spokesperson Mmoni Seapolelo said the SABC decided that Mhlongo-motaung should return to work tomorrow. The decision, she said, was taken after he was subjected to the organisation’s internal policies and processes.
“The SABC views the matter concerning Somizi Mhlongo-motaung in a serious light. It is also imperative to note that this matter was referred to the law-enforcement authorities.
As a responsible employee, we will allow the law to take its course and the matter reach its logical conclusion,” said Seapolelo.
Mhlongo-motaung has been absent from the airwaves since the incident, and his woes were also compounded by Mbalula, who opened a case against him at Sandton police station.
Mhlongo-motaung was subsequently arrested and later released on R1 000 bail after he handed himself over to police.
In support of their claims that
Mhlongo-motaung was likely to face the chop, senior officials had argued that Mbalula’s case had made it difficult to save him.
“Mbalula compounded his problems by opening a case against him. He could only be saved if Mbalula dropped the charges against him, which is highly unlikely because he too was protecting his integrity. Because the way things happened, it created an impression that Mbalula leaked the information to him,” said a deep throat privy to the matter.
The tipster also said they prayed that Mhlongo-motaung would not act emotionally and resign.
“There is hope that he will survive this because, to be honest , listeners love him to bits,” said the source.
The informant said the station had accepted his apology, but said that it was a little too late, as the matter was now out of the SABC’S reach and control.
However, like a cat, Mhlongo-motaung has proven to have nine lives, as he survived the axe for his controversial statements, which also breached the lockdown regulations.
Mhlongo-motaung had not responded to Sunday World questions at the time of going to print.
We will allow the law to take its cause and the matter reach its logical conclusion.