Lotus FM, the SABC’s Indian ethnic station, was up for sale, millionaire businessman Sunny Gayadin told the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, adding he was willing to buy it.
“My negotiators are working on it. I have had a report back saying they are willing to sell,” he said.
“I’m a businessman. I buy and sell things.”
Gayadin, who is being sued by a senior Lotus FM news staffer Gary Govindsamy, for defamation, told the court that he had approached the SABC to buy the station “some time ago”.
Broadcaster Gary Govindsamy is suing Gayadin for R100 000 after the show promoter and one-time illegal casino operator had allegedly launched into a verbal rant when he chose not to run a story about the arrest of Bollywood playback singer Shaan Mukerji.
Gayadin had sought a court order against Mukerji and wanted the station to inform its listeners that the singer’s concert in Johannesburg was going to be cancelled.
Gayadin has denied that he had insulted Govindsamy in a vulgar way or accused him of bribery and corruption by saying the radio journalist was “on someone else’s payroll”.
Earlier, Govindsamy testified that, during the heated exchange, Gayadin told him that when he bought the station, he would be the first person the businessman would fire. Gayadin denied having said this.
Attorney Anand Nepaul, representing Govindsamy, questioned Gayadin on Thursday about several aspects of witness testimony that was never disputed by his legal team.
This included that he had left a vulgar voicemail on Govindsamy’s cellphone. Gayadin testified only this week that he had never left any voicemail on Govindsamy’s cellphone.
He told the court that the reason for some of the evidence not being disputed previously was that his former lawyer Douglas Tobias, had not taken proper instruction from him.
On Thursday, Nepaul was unsuccessful in his application asking that the magistrate, Thandeka Fikeni, reconsider her decision not to play a recording of the voicemail.
Fikeni had decided not to allow the recording to be played because its authenticity had not been proved.
The matter is expected to continue on Friday. - Daily News