Why she got FIRED: Unathi Nkayi's career in shambles after refusing to apologise


South African TV and radio presenter Unathi Nkayi has found herself in hot water after refusing to apologize to former colleague Sizwe Dhlomo for falsely accusing him of hurling profanities at her in the studio of a Gauteng-based radio station last year.

Unathi Nkayi was instructed to extend an olive branch to Dhlomo by the station’s human resource head, Bhekiwe Khumalo, after the station’s internal investigations exonerated Dhlomo of any wrongdoing. However, Nkayi persisted in her misrepresentations of events, causing anxiety among her colleagues and employees of the station.

Nkayi is now demanding R1.6-million from Kaya FM for unfair dismissal, but the station's lawyers have revealed shocking details that contradict Nkayi’s claims. In the papers, it is alleged that Nkayi made misrepresentations regarding violence, abuse, and language that resulted in causing anxiety among her colleagues and employees of the station.

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The station supported its case by attaching an email in which Nkayi made a false accusation against Dhlomo. When the station conducted investigations, Dhlomo provided it with an audio from the station which exposed Nkayi’s shameful lies.

Khumalo wrote an email to Nkayi stating they were disappointed with her falsehood against Dhlomo. “Having listened to the audio from the studio recording, it is apparent that no profanities were used by Mr Dhlomo during the engagement with you. What was in addition unequivocal from the audio, was the uttering of the word “fuck” prior to the news and at the culmination of your argument with Mr Dhlomo. Premised on the aforementioned, the business cannot take any action against Mr Dhlomo."

Nkayi promised to tender an apology but had not done so after the time-line lapsed. She only sent her apology to human resource and copied Dhlomo. This prompted the station to remove her from the show, saying her email was non-compliant with the Kaya’s unequivocal instruction and reminded her to apologize to Dhlomo in an email sent to her on October 29, 2021. Khumalo also stated that Dhlomo has also filed a formal complaint against her and required her to respond comprehensively.

In her response, Nkayi said she couldn't meet the deadline to tender the apology because she was away and promised to apologize to him immediately. She later sent an email to Dhlomo, apologizing for saying that he swore at her instead of asking for forgiveness for lying that he insulted her.

Her apparent refusal to apologize for her false accusation against Dhlomo together with his formal complaint proved to be the end of her career at the station. This after Dhlomo made clear in his letter of complaint that he wanted nothing to do with her.

After taking a decision to terminate her contract, Kaya FM asked her to submit representation on why the station should not do so. Nkayi replied in audio that Dhlomo submitted to demolish her false claims constituted an invasion of her privacy because it was a secretly recorded without her consent.

She also said Dhlomo had previously broadcast on-air a joke about her failed marriage to Thomas Msengana and no action was taken against him despite filing a grievance. She said there was no justification for Kaya FM to punish her for mistakenly saying Dhlomo used profanities during their altercation.

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