Kelly Khumalo’s ‘new lover’ in bribery claims

By Aubrey Mothombeni | Sunday World |

Afro-pop singer Kelly Khumalo’s “new lover” and Live Amp producer Sjula Dlamini was allegedly booted out of the SABC1 music show over bribery claims.

The popular producer, who is also the voice-over artist for Date My Family, was allegedly suspended after several artists complained he had demanded money from them in order to playlist their songs on the show.

Dlamini confirmed knowledge of the allegations against him, but claimed he left the show for greener pastures and he was not suspended.

“I’m aware that there was someone who was using my name to ask people to give him money in exchange for airplay and offering people presenter positions on Live Amp. It was not me. In fact, I was never suspended, I left the show a month ago for growth,” he said.

Dlamini claimed the allegations should instead be levelled against certain artists as they have tried to offer him money to play their music.

He refused to reveal these artists.

“A lot of artists approached me and tried to give me money so I could play their music, but I refused to take their money.”

The producer said it was impossible for him to live up to their demands because he does not take the decisions alone on the show.

“It’s illegal to playlist people’s music for money. The airtime is for free and besides, I have to get approval for my work. I don’t take the decisions alone.”

SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago referred all inquiries to Urban Brew, the company that produces Live Amp.

“If it’s true, the complaints would have been taken to Urban Brew because they are responsible for everything on the show,” said Kganyago.

However, he said the SABC takes every bribery allegation seriously. “We have always encouraged the complainants on such claims to provide us with proof so that we are able to act. Unfortunately, some people are unable to give us the evidence.”

Kganyago gave reference of the Chilli M matter to emphasise the SABC’s tough stance on payola.

“It’s unfortunate that at times the people who complain to the SABC about these matters normally are also involved. For example, on the Chilli M matter, the SABC was forced to open a case against the complainant, because he only alerted the SABC after his wishes were not fulfilled. We took action against the employee and the complainant.”

Urban Brew communication specialist Marvin Cohen could not confirm nor deny Dlamini’s suspension. “All we can say is that he has moved to another production,” said Cohen.