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‘It was not nice’

…Bokamoso FM boss quits amidst ‘missing’ money allegations

Nthatuoa Koeshe

Popular commercial radio station Bokamoso Fm 974 sails like a ship without a captain, following the abrupt resignation of its station Manager Simangaliso Dlamini who left in a huff last month amidst allegations of bad blood brewing between him and the management at Ramela and Associates, a holding company of the radio.

According to sources privy of the matter, there had been no love lost between the South African-born station manager and his bosses following a streak of misappropriation of funds under his reign at the helm of arguably, the fastest growing radio station.

Bokamoso FM 974 was founded in 2017 following the takeover of erstwhile commercial-cum-political mouthpiece Thahakhube FM which was bought by the Ramela and Associates entity.

Sources who spoke to Newsday on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal, have said that Dlamini was a shining star who in the eyes of many at the station, especially members of staff and the management, came as an answer to their prayers of old, the messiah!

“His arrival breathed new life to the radio station, we started feeling like valued human beings who were actually worth and were contributing something to the advancement of the station owners’ dream” said the source, adding that it was during Dlamini’s tenure that, for the first time, members of staff started being remunerated.

She says since his take-over, even the management of the station even started relaxing knowing that there was someone actually reliable to anchor the ship safely.

“It is however, the same confidence that led the bosses to lower their guard around him and not even see anything coming, now this…we are all perplexed” said another source.

It is alleged that there are a lot of monies which cannot be accounted for under him. The money in question is said to also include a sum of about M70 000 that was meant for the station’s corporate social responsibility initiatives which was not accounted for. There was also the issue of the vehicle which was however not handed to the winner at the end of the year as promised and thereafter Dlamini’s resignation had followed.

The station launched a competition wherein a listener walks away with a brand new car at the end of the year-long contest, which however, did not materialize last year.

“Large amounts of money are said to have vanished into thin air under his management, this is inclusive of the money for the car competition which car was supposed to have been awarded last December,” said the source.

It is further said that when Dlamini was out of the country during the Christmas holidays, it had surfaced that there were financial questions that needed to be answered and some accounting that had to be done. However, when he was supposed to provide the answers, Dlamini is said to have cracked and chose rather not to come back “…and handed-in his resignation which left us all in a state of shock and disbelief as we had always known that his and the bosses’ relationship was a very tight one”.

This was confirmed by a representative of Ramela and Associates, a Refiloe Maraka, who was however, cagey about going into the details around Dlamini’s sudden ouster opting only to say, that indeed they had received his resignation which briefly said he was pursuing greener pastures in his home country.

“Even though I cannot disclose the contents of Dlamini’s resignation, I know that he handed over his letter of resignation which stated that he wants to go develop himself elsewhere,” Maraka said in an interview with Newsday this week.

He could, however, not be brought into delving into the money allegations saying rather that the reason for failure to award the car as expected, was the lack of necessary spirited anticipation by the public.

“I am not aware of any records of money unaccounted for money and the only reason why we did not give the winner the vehicle is because we postponed the handover ceremony as there was not enough hype around the competition at the time,” Maraka said.

He said they are yet to give out information of when the handover ceremony will be as soon as they are ready.

Be that as it may, Dlamini did not deny the allegations around his resignation only admitting that his sudden departure was forced by circumstances which he was not ready to divulge.

Dlamini told this paper that he was not ready to talk about his resignation but did point that his resignation from the station was “not nice”.

“I don’t want to give you a PR statement for the sake of it. How I came to resign was not nice. I am not yet ready to talk about it in public,” Dlamini said.

Quizzed about the monies said to have gone missing under his watch, he did not rebuff but told this publication that he was not yet ready to discuss that.

“I think I am ok with you running with the story without my comment. When I am ready I will speak,” he said.

Dlamini ascended to the helm of Bokamoso FM 974 in 2019 from a television broadcast background, having worked as producer for some time at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). During his stay at the Ramela and Associates, he was also responsible for the corporate’s other media and publicity productions such as the recent seven-part series ‘Metla-Kgola’ profiling the life and times of company founder and CEO Bishop David Ramela, which aired on Lesotho Television last year.

Bokamoso FM 97.4 is a company under Ramela and Associates that specializes in broadcasting, content development, publishing, advertising and communications strategy.

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