By BAKANG MOKOTO
Vryburg-based community radio station, Bophirima FM is marred with alleged mismanagement, corruption and fraud. Some of presenters alleged that the management is using the embattled community radio for self-enrichment.
One of presenters who wished to remain anonymous said: “The station is not operating, owned and driven by the communities they serve anymore. It seems the management has forgotten the role of the community radio station. It does not serve geographic communities and its interests, but is been used as a cash cow.
“The station management and its interim board are misusing funds. The station received R800 000 from Dr Ruth Mompati District Municipality in 2015. It also continue to receive the amount of R200 000 monthly from the municipality. It is heartbreaking that we are paid paltry salaries, while other presenters who have close ties with the management getting around R3 900 per month.”
Another presenter alleged that the station manager, Funnie Morontsi uses his company to request funds from businesses on behalf of Bophirima FM. He/she also alleged that Morontsi registered the station’s equipment under his name and uses them for Outside Broadcast purposes.
The Bophirima FM is also in loggerheads with Metla Kgola Trust which was running the station. However, the trust has since taken the station to court which and the case sat at Vryburg Magistrate’s Court on 21 February 2018.
The Dr Ruth Mompati District Municipality spokesperson, Joe Motlhasedi said: “The municipality has indeed funded the Bophirima FM in 2013 at the amount of R300 000 for the pre-establishment phase of the radio. We have also funded them to the amount of R250 000 in 2015 for operationalization purposes.
“However, there is no monthly allowance of R250 000 that was ever been funded to the station until to date. The station has no tax certificate due to ownership challenges that are currently under legal process. We are also aware that the station is not producing adequate revenue to either pay for services or other stipends of the presenters currently.”
Motlhasedi added that the station has been accommodated at the building that was leased for free to them by the North West Public Works. He said the department has declared the building unsafe and it will be demolished soon.
Motlhasedi further said the municipality has also funded Morongwa Media which is a community newspaper in Vryburg to the amount ofR49 000 thus far. Morontsi failed to respond to our e-mails and text messages despite numerous attempts.