Sanef condemns destruction of radio stations as Alex FM damage estimated at R5m

Sanef said it spoke to Alex FM and Westside FM, which now needed help as they have lost a lot of assets.

Picture: Jonathan Farber/Unsplash

JOHANNESBURG - As businesses in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal begin to evaluate the damage done to their properties during widespread violence and looting, the Alex FM community station estimated that destruction to its property was worth around R5 million.

Alex FM in Alexandra township and Westside FM in Kagiso were broken into and vandalised on Tuesday morning.

Alex FM's Kabelo Kehalotswe said that studio computers and audio equipment were stolen, while the property was damaged. Alex FM has been in operation for 27 years, while West Side FM has been on the air for eight years.

The South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef) condemned what it called thuggery in these communities.

"It is a sad day when properties are vandalised by criminals purporting to have a cause to fight for, yet they choose to use violence and vandalism to achieve that cause. The two stations are now battling to get back on air and serve their communities as broadcasting equipment, among other assets, have been stolen," the forum said in a statement.

Sanef said that it spoke to both stations, which now needed help as they had lost a lot of assets, with West Side FM at the local mall, where shops were looted and vandalised.

"It took years for these two stations to be built, yet thugs saw fit to vandalise and loot them. Sanef encourages the two stations to open criminal cases, which will hopefully result in successful prosecutions," it said.

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