Friday, September 20, 2013


Southside FM Radio management is working tirelessly to ensure that the radio station is granted a frequency in the Durban area. The management, led by veteran journalist and struggle activist Subry Govender, is now seeking the assistance of the Minister of Communications, Mr Yunus Carrim. A letter has been written to Minister Carrim (displayed below) pointing out that Southside FM Radio has been struggling for the past four years to obtain a frequency. The management has pointed out that Southside represents a significant percentage of the South African population and that it was a tragedy that this population should be denied the chance to promote its cultures, languages, music and traditions.
SOUTHSIDE FM RADIO (NPO No: 089 - 426) 59 Musgrave Road, Durban P.O. Box 486 Verulam 4340 Tel: 082 376 9053/ 031 - 568 13009 email: September 17 2013 Mr Yunus Carrim Minister of Communications -------------------------------------- Dear Minister Carrim We are writing to you in order to seek your intervention regarding our long struggles to obtain a frequency in the Durban area for the launch of our cultural/socia/progressive radio station, Southside FM Radio.
The late Minister Roy Padaychie played an important role in helping us because he knew that our Board of Governors is made up of former struggle stalwarts and that we would play a progressive and developmental role in our new non-racial and democratic South Africa once we are granted a frequency. He was even a chief guest at our fund-raising dunner at the Merebank Tamil School Society(MTSS) in Durban in February 2012. Unfortunately, his untimely death robbed us of a comrade. His wife, Mrs Sally Padaychie, has continued with his work and is a member of our Board of Governors. President Jacob Zuma gave a promise to Mrs Padaychie after Minister Padyachie's death that all the late Minister's projects would be carried through and completed. With this support, we persevered with our efforts and continued our negotiations with the leaders and senior officials of ICASA about our frequency requirement. We even sought the assistance of Mr Eric Kholwane, Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Communications, who made several trips to Durban to hold discussions with us about the problem we found ourselves in. In April this year, Mr Kholwane convened a meeting of all role players from ICASA, Sentech and the SABC to help us with our frequency requirement. At this meeting, the SABC CEO gave an undertaking that she would ensure we are assisted in us launching as soon as possible. The chairperson of Sentech, Dr Ncube, even told the meeting that he was looking forward to our launch at the end of this year and that he would be grateful to be invited to the launch.
With this commitment from all sides, we informed our target market of the "good" news and began preparations to select our premises, build our studio and to recruit the necessary staff. We, however, could not carry out these tasks without the frequency. But once again delays cropped up and we travelled to Johannesburg to hold talks with Mr Monde Mbanga and other officials of ICASA and also continued with our talks with Mr Patrick Sikhosana, Manager of Sentech in KZN. While we were at the offices of ICASA in Johannesburg, Mr Mbanga gave us an assurance that everything was on track and that they were just waiting for Sentech to finalise the testing in Durban. Mr Mbanga even telephoned Mr Sikhosana during our meeting in Johannesburg to finalise discussions with him about the frequency for Southside FM Radio.
Mr Sikhosana gave an undertaking that they had carried out all the tests and were just waiting for a letter from the SABC to finalise the testing and for a report to be submitted to ICASA.
While we were awaiting our frequency confirmation, we entered into negotiations with the Premier of KZN, Dr Zweli Mkhize, who gave us his full support and even arranged for us to hold talks with his Director General in Pietermaritzburg. Mrs Sally Padaychie, along with the writer, was one of the officials who travlled to Pietermaritzburg to hold talks with the DG. The Premier's office gave us their full support and promised to assist us when we obtain our frequency. We even sought the assistance of the Department of Arts and Culture and held talks with the Director General early in September about Southside FM Radio and its role in the new South Africa. We reported this to Sentech and ICASA. We had also continued to seek the assistance of Mr Kholwane.
Only a week ago we held another meeting with Sentech in Durban and Mr Sikhosana once again re-iterated that he was waiting for the letter from the SABC but it seemed the SABC was not keen on providing Sentech with the letter. He, nevertheless, promised to take the matter up once again as he would be holding talks with his seniors at the end last week (September 13). At the same time he called on us to take up the matter once again with Mr Kholwane and other political leaders. At his request we we wrote another letter to Mr Sikohsana, asking him to help us in our struggles to obtain the frequency.
I wrote to Mr Sikohasna on Monday, September 16 2013, checking with him whether he had some "good news" for Southside FM Radio. He telephoned the writer at about 10am the same and started of by saying: "Hi Comrade Subry. I am telephoning you because what I am going to say to you I did not think it would be adviseable to put in writing." He went on to say that it seemed "the SABC is retracting from its commitment given at the meeting with Mr Kholwane". "They don't want to co-operate with us for us to finalise the testing and for us to submit the report to ICASA." He suggested that Southside FM Radio should continue to take up the matter with Mr Kholwane, Minister Yunus Carrim and if need be even with President Zuma as he had given an assurance that "all of Mr Padaychie's projects would be fulfilled". We are now writing to you, Mr Minister, to kindly intervene and to ensure that Southside FM radio is assisted in getting off the ground. We are a progressive force and we cannot understand why we are being frustrated in our efforts to launch our radio. We have been struggling for the past four years to launch, ever since some struggle stalwarts decided that our target market is an important sector of South Africa's population to be catered for and to become a full part of our new, non-racial and democratic South Africa. Members of our target market, supporters, and donors are becoming impatient and whenever we meet the people they inquire about when we are going to launch our radio station. "The launch of Southside FM Radio is long overdue" is the frustrating feedback. We would be grateful to hear from your goodself at your early convenience and would be grateful if you could kindly grant us an audience to discuss our initiative with you. Thanks and kind regards. Subry Govender Secretary ---------------------
Board of Governors: Mr Balan Gounder (chairperson), Ms Keresha Govender (treasurer), Mrs Sally Padaychie (widow of the late Minister Roy Padaychie), Ms Thirupuriesundrie Govender (asst secretary), Mr Logan Naidoo, Mr Swaminathan Gounden (former political activist), Mr Richard Naidoo (deputy chairperson), Mr Denis Naidoo(former activist) and Mr Subry Govender (secretary and former struggle journalist/activist)

Thursday, September 12, 2013


At a time when South Africans are observing the 36th anniversary of the tragic death in police custody of the founder and leader of black consciousness in South Africa, calls are being made for the philosophy of black consciousness to be revived and energised in order for people to make constructive and genuine advances in their lives. Steven Bantu Biko, who was the courageous leader of the Black Peoples Convention, died 36 years ago after being brutally battered and assaulted by the then notorious apartheid security police. The following report was compiled this report for Radio Deutsche Welle (Voice of Germany) on the 36th anniversary of Biko's cruel death... . By Marimuthu Subramoney (aka Subry Govender) "I've got no doubt in my mind that there are people, and I know people in terms of my own background where I stay, are not revengeful or sadistic. Now the black man has got no ill intentions for the white man. The black man is only incensed at the white man to the extent that he wants to entrech himself in a position of power to exploit the black man." At a time in the late 1960s and 1970s when racial oppression was at its height in South Africa, it was a young and brave Steven Bantu Biko who aroused the political consciousness of the black majority through his no nonsense philosophy of - "black man you are on your own" - and - "black is beautiful". At this time - leaders of the calibre of Nelson Mandela, Govan Mbeki and Walter Sisulu were either in jail on Robben Island or had gone into exile. SYMBOL OF HOPE Biko became the symbol of hope and voice of the people ever since he initiated and founded the South African Students Organisation(SASO) along with other activists at the then Black Medical School in Durban and the Black Peoples Convention(BPC). He was also involved in the establishment of the Zanempilo Clinic and Creche; Zimele Trust Fund and the Ginsberg Trust in the Eastern Cape Province. Although only 30-years-old, he became a leader of substance who inspired university students, school children and the general public about the oppression of the black people. He was considered a threat by the apartheid regime and in early August 1977 he was arrested, detained, interrogated and tortured by the then notorious security police in Port Elizabeth. BRUTALLY BATTERED Although he was battered so brutally he was on September 11 1977 driven in the back of a police van - manacled hand and foot and naked - 1 200 kilometres to Pretoria and kept in a police cell. The next day on September 12 1977, the apartheid regime announced that Biko had died in detention. Despite being regarded as a "freedom martyr" and paying the ultimate price for the liberation of the people, Biko has not been properly recoginised in the new non-racial and democratic South Africa.
Azapo leader in KZN, Mr Mfana Nene AZAPO Mr Mfana Nene, a leader of the Azanian Peoples Organisation(AZAPO) in KwaZulu-Natal, told this correspondent in an interview in Durban on Wednesday, September 11 2013 that they were very disappointed and angry at the attitude of those in power towards Biko. LITTLE RECOGINITION "Comrade Steve Biko was very big in our struggles. Comrade Steve Biko was the best candidate for our liberation but the Government of today the way they are doing things they are showing us that they don't recoginise the work done by Steve Biko. "Look at when they are doing things of name changes. The Medical School which is at King Edward is not named after Steve Biko but Steve Biko was the only prominent political leader of this country who studied at this university. You can see now when they are doing name changes they don't check the history of this country. They just name it just as they want to." Mfana Nene, a school teacher, is involved with other AZAPO leaders all over the country in a series of events this week to commemmorate the life of Biko and to promote his values and principles. POORLY INFORMED But while Azapo is trying to re-energise the struggles of Biko, many young people appear to be disinterested or poorly informed about Biko. I visited the Durban University of Technology, which has a student campus named after Biko to honour the black consciousness leader.
Jabulo Mbonambi Jabulo Mbonambi, 19, is a civil engineering student: "Actually I don't know about the politics. What I know about Steve Biko is that he is a freedom fighter for the black people."
Gabelo Maja Gabelo Maja, 21, is a construction management student: "I know that he was very famous for his quote 'black is beautiful' and he was a student leader among the black nation."
Krenolin Naidoo Krenolin Naidoo, 19, is a first year Bio-technology student) : "Steve Biko I know was shot during the apartheid times and he was a key figure during the apartheid struggles."
Ms Ndada Mokuthama Another student is Ms Ndada Mokuthama, 24, a 3rd year quantity surveying student: "I don't know much about Steve Biko but I know that he was part of the struggle in terms of fighting for freedom and he was an activist." BIKOS IN URGENT NEED TODAY Despite their lack of interest, most of the students I talked say that South Africa is in urgent need today of leaders like Steve Biko because Biko's philosophy of self reliance and self help and service to the people appears to be sorely lacking. "WE FIGHT TODAY FOR THINGS THAT REALLY DO NOT DO MUCH FOR OUR FUTURE."
Students in front of Steve Biko statue who say that there's an urgent need for many Bikos in South Africa today Ms Mokuthama, who appeared to be determined young person, said: "He fought for something that was actually worth fighting for. Unlike the youth of today, we fight for things that really do not do much for our future. We feel entitled for things and we don't want to get and go and work it whereas he went out and made things happen." CORRUPTION A MENACE TODAY Mr Gabelo Maja, 24, a construction management student, also says that "we need leaders like Steve Biko to bring more moral values into our society". "The biggest issue today is corruption and collusion. We need leaders like Steve Biko to decrease and erase the menace of corruption." The South African Government has not yet OFFICIALLY issued any statement on the 36th anniversary of Biko's brutal death but some leaders have stated that it's the duty of Azapo and other black consciousness organisations to promote their leaders. Besides the student campus in Durban named in his honour and two streets that reflect his name in Durban and Pretoria - there are no prominent institutions such as universities or airports that carry Biko's name. What a tragedy!

Monday, September 2, 2013

South Africans overjoyed at the return of Nelson Mandela to his home in Houghton, Johannesburg

By Subry Govender (A report done for Radio Deutsche Welle on Monday, Sept 2 2013)
South Africans are breathing a sigh of relief that former President and freedom icon, Nelson Mandela, has been discharged from hospital and are praying that he would spend the rest of his life with his family and close family friends. This follows confirmation by the Government that Mr Mandela has been discharged from hospital on Sunday, September 1 (2013) after 86 days and that he would be taken care of at his home in the suburb of Houghton in Johannesburg. On Monday, September 2 (2013) the South African authorities enforced strict security around the home of Nelson Mandela and have declared that the area was now a national key point. At the same time all media people and journalists had been ordered to stay a distance away from the house and the local metro police restricted all unauthorised vehicles and the movement of people. While security was being heightened, ordinary people I spoke to were overjoyed that Mandela had been returned to his family. They were of the view that Mandela should spend the rest of his life with family members and close friends instead of being in a hospital. "It's actually a good feeling,” said Mrs Pam Ntse, who described herself as a Durban “home executive”.
“I am very happy for him and his family because they have been through a lot and I just hope he gets better and I hope he lives to 100.” Another woman, Mrs Lynne Cooper, also of Durban said she was certain that the doctors had done “the right thing in the interests of his health and it's lovely that he can spend time with his family”. “I only hope that he will be around for another decade." "I'm very very pleased and I still believe that it's God's will that he is still with us." The people are fully indebted to the freedom icon for bringing about reconciliation and development in South Africa and for being an example to the rest of the world. They say he's one of the greatest leaders to have graced this world and to have sacrificed so much for freedom and peace.
A former activist, Mr Barry Rebeck, said Mandela had played a pivotal role in leading “the country through the transition”. “He did all the right things, staying in office for only one term and hardly any controversy with him. He was a wonderful man, a true leader and I think we will miss him." Mrs Tereza de Beer, who described herself as one of Mandela”s “greatest admirers”, became emotional when she spoke about the sacrifices and the role Mandela had played in bringing about peace, reconciliation and development in South Africa. "I think he's one of the greatest leaders ever was and he's a great example to the nation,” she said. “He's left a very good legacy in terms of our country. He's been a pioneer in terms of leading our country into a rainbow nation. While he's here we will do him proud.
"I think what he has done nobody would have done that better. I have the highest, highest respect for him and I hope his family is enjoying having him with them." The local and international media are once again increasing their interest in Mandela. They believe that Mandela has been discharged from hospital because he should be with his family and close friends at a time when the health of the 95-year-old former president is still considered to be “critical and at times unstable”.