Highveld DJ unexpectedly sacked

2011-06-08 12:16
Pauli van Wyk
Johannesburg – 94.7 Highveld Stereo DJ Paul Rotherham was unexpectedly fired on Tuesday.

"I was called in by the station management after my Breakfast Express show on Tuesday where I was told that it wouldn't be necessary for me to come in to work the following morning and that my contract will not be renewed," Rotherman said on Tuesday.

According to him his contract only expires at the end of this month. He joined the radio station in 1998.

The station manager, Natasha Wadvalla, confirmed that Rotherham "does not work at the station any more".

"We parted on good terms and the station wishes him all the best for the future."

No goodbye

Rotherham said that what hurt him most is that he "did not get the opportunity to say goodbye" to his listeners. 

"Management was friendly, but said that the station was heading in one direction and I am heading in another."

He believes that the reason for his dismissal is because he raised a few points that worried him in a meeting about a month ago.

"I said that the content of our Breakfast Express show is not appropriate for a time slot where children are listening on their way to school."

"I don't want my children to hear how we talk about a back, crack and sack topic," he said referring to a show wherein a man spoke about how his delicate parts were waxed.


  • Malcolm - 2011-06-08 12:42

    The show is absolute crud, , Paul you are better off without them, management should really evaluate where they want to go with this rubbish that they present us with. Darren & Sam your sell by date has come and gone !!!

      Dawn - 2011-09-27 15:46

      Well said Malcolm, after so many years of an incredible show, I cannot believe that this station is prepared to accept clots.

  • LSD - 2011-06-08 12:44

    Does anybody know what happened to Joffes? The new sports reader does not do it for me. Ever since Jeremy left dont listen to morning show, Darren & Sam suck!

      Thor - 2011-06-08 13:43

      Wondering that myself. Any ideas ?

      Rocky_III - 2011-06-08 17:30

      He resigned over very similar issues with the new show. Again listeners where not told.

      TRACEYK - 2011-06-10 12:24

      Joffes went to Jacaranda. I hope Paul goes there as well!

      Jon - 2011-09-08 08:18

      Joffee resigned he wanted to leave to pursue other interests as far as I know.

  • Riana - 2011-06-08 12:46

    Ag no man! First Mr Mansfield -now Paul R? What ever!

  • Riana - 2011-06-08 12:47

    Ag no! Frist Mr Mansfield and now Paul R - they loosing all the good ones!

  • Point Blank - 2011-06-08 12:51

    Stupid station anyway, right up there with East Coast... same style, same corny crap and equally stupid presenters.

      Airborne68 - 2011-06-09 12:41

      Agreed Point Blank. ECR is a load of cr@p. Our breakafast show is comparable to watching Wielie Walie. Childish in the extreme.

      DW - 2011-06-09 13:15

      When is Durban going to get a station like 702 or Cape Talk? My ears itch since moving to Durban

      tryanything - 2011-06-09 14:09

      702 Is also going down the tubes

      Tembo - 2011-06-09 14:15

      I listen to Radio 2000 when in Durban. East Coast is crap

  • Chris - 2011-06-08 12:55

    time to tune into somewhere else

      Snys - 2011-06-08 13:40

      I agree. Wackhead and Sam does not do the show any good...and the crap music they are playing nowadays! Thank you Jacaranda!

      Pocahontas - 2011-06-08 14:40

      Five FM - Gareth and co are brilliant!

      Jen Rose - 2015-03-13 13:07

      where chris??? Any ideas, all the stations presenters talk c@rp the whooooollle day long.... awful content... whats the cricket score?

  • BJW - 2011-06-08 12:56

    Agree - have seen this show go down hill yearly. The show actually is an embarrassment and not clever, funny nor informative. Changed many years back. Occassionally turn in now, and it just seems to get worse and more childish in mentality.

  • Gorilla - 2011-06-08 12:56

    I wasn't aware that one could fire people like that in SA.

      Sandra-D - 2011-06-08 13:28

      He was on contract and for the record, in SA you can do what you want. Government does so why would private companies be any different?

      Xen - 2011-06-08 14:23

      If you read the article, they say his contract is expiring at the end of the month anyway. They obviously just paid him his last month's salary and told him he doesn't need to work out the month. A perfectly normal occurrence...

      Gorilla - 2011-06-08 14:26

      Sanda-D. Really? I have found myself in front of the Commisioner at the CCMA on more than a few occasions based on the fact that I fired someone unfairly and in all instances had to prove I didn't. Have a look at the conditions of employment is SA and I'm sure you will see that one is not just allowed to terminate someones employment instantly and without prior warning or disciplinary procedures.

      DeonL - 2011-06-08 15:18

      Not renewing a contract is a bit different than firing.

      CharlSkeptic - 2011-06-08 15:35

      Fixed term contract of temporary employment does not require any procedures, other than a notice. I am a HR manager and we advise the employee ahead of time and in writing that a new contract will not be offered. They did not have to discipline him. As long as they pay him until then end of June they'll be fine, legally. (The news of his "sacking" must have been a bit too abrupt, though, from the article)

      Gorilla - 2011-06-08 16:04

      Guys - I understand that, but from the article it seems that after his show, he was asked to pack up his box of hairy spiders and hit the langkamp. No notice, no reason and before the termination date of his contact was up. Just a minor technicality?

      David Couto - 2011-06-09 12:41

      If they paid him out up to the termination date then, yup. It's just a technicality.

  • Cowley - 2011-06-08 13:10

    I am so happy he gone. He bored the crap out of me. Most boring DJ I have ever listened to.

      Cowley - 2011-06-08 13:11

      Come to think of it...I don't listen to the station anymore since Jeremy has left. TUKS FM FTW! :)

      Mariana - 2011-06-08 13:57

      SHAME MAN, I feel for you - One actually need BRAIN ACTIVITY to appreciate Paul's wit. Stick to WackHead, they cater for the less fortunate.

      Mishka - 2011-06-09 07:05

      Family of Sam???

      Jason - 2011-09-08 08:22

      well considering the yes and no's to your comment you the minority on this

  • Conan28 - 2011-06-08 13:12

    I stand to be corrected, but I think this is the sister station of KZN's East Coast Radio. Here too many new presenters have come and gone but the dinosaurs remain! Utterly boring content and DJ's. I switched to 5FM ages ago.

      Louis C - 2011-06-08 13:24

      You're thinking of KFM in Cape Town...

      Graham - 2011-06-08 13:33

      Too true but when KB comes onn I rather switch the radio off!

      opiniononly - 2011-06-08 17:34

      I also switched to 5fm East Coast was getting worse and worse.....

  • AndV - 2011-06-08 13:20

    It is a colour issue.

      Xen - 2011-06-08 14:19

      I do hope you are joking...

  • Spinnie - 2011-06-08 13:22

    People who think Darren Simpson is funny should be shot in the knees.

      Airborne68 - 2011-06-09 12:44

      Simpson should blow his damned nose. That nasal twang sounds like he is trying to imitate Joel Stransky.

      Desire - 2011-06-09 13:59

      @Airborne - Simpson sounds like a fekking braindamaged squirrel. Cannot stand that lot! We have banned Highveld at work, at home and in our cars! Puerile drivel......

      BMT - 2011-06-16 04:27

      Completely agree. I though Darren Simpson was a simpleton years ago, but somehow people ate up his drivel and his "I can be rude, hurtful, and cause you a lot of stress because at the end, I'm going to reveal who I am and that'll be worth a laugh" phone pranks. He is a grown man trying to live in/off the immature "humour" of teenage boys. Oneday he's going to do a prank and someone will take serious offence and that'll be the end of Darren Simpson.

      Jen Rose - 2015-03-13 13:09

      i am 100% convinced sam cowen and darren simpson are brother and sister, hahaha their voices combined scare my cats......and give me kopseer. lol

  • Wayne - 2011-06-08 13:25

    HAHAHAHAHA WankHead must have some major clout within prime media. I changed stations long ago! Boring repeatitive content and that whinning little rat voice gives me the shi7s one time. Express wont last long you can bet on that! even the phone pranks seem rehearsed. Go Paul you better off with out the bottom feeders!

      Oolsnirp - 2011-06-08 13:26

      I agree!!!!

      Dros - 2011-06-08 13:45

      I would say Sam Cowhead is worse and agree with the rest of your post Wayne.

      Cowley - 2011-06-08 13:50

      Well said my man! :)

      sakkie - 2011-06-08 16:19

      Wayne ! if I could say something to you I think it would be " Here is your Bell's !! Well said man.....

  • Sandra-D - 2011-06-08 13:25

    I found it strange that they left on good terms if Paul is so unhappy. I do agree that sometimes things get a bit rough, but people Jeremy is gone and he is not coming back. Darren and Sam are far from doing a bad job. There are three sides to a story, Paul's, the station's and the truth. I love Paul dearly, he has wit that is scared of nothing and he comes across as a great dad, hubby and person. But people Darren and Sam did not, not renew his contract. It was the management that made the decision. Why take it out on Darren and Sam? Driving to work in the morning I see so many people laughing at Darren's window. I wish Paul all the very best for whatever he may do next. He is a great guy and will go very far with whatever he decides to do.

      Rocky_III - 2011-06-08 17:35

      Sabndra sorry but really... They are doing a terible job. The show is pathetic.

  • J.Bones - 2011-06-08 13:28

    There is either a palace revolution or a cleansing of sorts going on at this radio station. 1st it was Mansfield to go, then the sports chap and now Rotherham. Thing is Mansfield was the centre of the universe for this show and since he left it has gone downhill fast.

      Sandra-D - 2011-06-08 13:36

      What a load of rubbish. Jeremy retired from radio, he was not asked to go, he asked to leave. The sports chap is Greame Joffe, Greame also decided to leave on his own, he was not told to go. You should really get your facts straight before you all so keenly are tryingto get rid of Darren and Sam. They also have families to support,if it was you, how the hell would you feel. SIS.

      Vlooi2008 - 2011-06-08 15:53

      Sandra-D I have news for you. I know someone in the industry and they told me a year before that Mansfield's contract was not being renewed. The only reason they said retire was the only way he would leave gracefully. Get your facts straight.

      Gandalf - 2011-06-09 11:33

      @Vlooi: Agreed. Jeremy was great at his peak, but let's be honest, for the good part of his last year on the show, he also laughed hardest at his own jokes. But with such a good history behind him, Primedia couldn't do what they've just done to Paul.

  • Sisie - 2011-06-08 13:36

    It's all about the money - they want profit sky high, but not prepared to pay their workers their due. Like everywhere. I think the best job must be working for the government. You get paid more than your worth, you can strike when you please, you can sit at your desk and do no work - or sit in parliament and catch up on your sleep as you will be partying all night.

  • geoffrey.stokker - 2011-06-08 13:45

    The station has been headed in one direction since Jeremy left. I'd rather listen to a university's morning show - they're far more mature than these guys.

  • Sensible! - 2011-06-08 13:48

    They should have rather got rid of Sam, geez that woman is irritating. I now prefer Grumpy John Robbie in the mornings, but 94.2 Jacaranda is also not a bad choice!!! I guess there goes all the 94.7 breakfast show awards in the future.

  • rob - 2011-06-08 13:48

    Well done Primedia, you've taken a class act and tuned it into the Jerry Springer show

  • Mike Webber - 2011-06-08 13:49

    Ja I said this eight months ago. PrimeMedia have lost it on this one. Breakfast Xpress is the KAKEST show ever !!! Puerile, contrived, RUBBISH !!!

  • Snys - 2011-06-08 13:49

    C'mon News24...how about an opinion poll on the popularity of this show!

  • Justo - 2011-06-08 13:55

    I will miss Paul.Hope you will find work soon.

  • Moersteen - 2011-06-08 13:57

    From Hero to ZERO Highveld. You are the weakest link...GOODBYE.

  • Nutzman - 2011-06-08 14:06

    I have way more respect for Paul, than Wankhead. I've said for month's that the breakfast xpress will not last. Perhaps a good thing that Paul's gone. He can go get a job now,before the rush of the rest of the team...... before they get the bullit. You've got supporters.... the other Paul on the last Nando's peri peri cruise

  • believe dat - 2011-06-08 14:21

    I stopped listening to Highveld's morning show when Harry Sideropoulos left years ago...couldn't stand Know-it-all Cowan. The fact that they've kept her and Whackhead and sacked Paul is just proof that they've completely lost the plot...

      henk - 2011-06-08 15:01

      @xen. Shame! You must be one of the 10% of listeners who is actualy happy with the trailor trash radiostation once known as Highveld!! Sorry, most of us have standards and highveld isnt making the grade. Also, as for modern; there is nothing modern about this show, it is in fact very crude and unentertaining. (also very "kommin")

      Frog - 2011-06-09 14:22

      Paul is one of the most knowledgable individuals of music I know, he should be happy to leave behind the bunch of idiots,!!!

  • BFH - 2011-06-08 14:33

    Daren Simpson is pathetic, his radio show is worse and his tv show is the absolute WORST! I cannot believe that any media would employ him. Paul isn't a firecracker, but he is a decent bloke, Darren is just a plain ass....can't say i ever listen to highveld anymore.

  • Xen - 2011-06-08 14:35

    The station is obviously trying to move into a more modern and liberal direction. If you don't like it use your radio's frequency dial and switch to Jacaranda or that Family Radio joke of a station, you'll be guaranteed to be stuck in the dark ages. These complainers are probably the same people who complain about late night Adult viewing on TV. Nobody forces you to watch/listen to it ffs!!!

  • Newsferret - 2011-06-08 14:37

    Good for his objections. Thank heavens I cannot receive that radio station in Cape Town and when living in Pretoria that was a station six years plus ago I avoided.

  • mrsmith - 2011-06-08 14:42

    People still listen to Highveld? Lately I found Jacaranda more enteraining - used to be the other round. Hope 94.2 hires him.

  • Stella - 2011-06-08 14:50

    maybe Paulie should go to Jacaranda - I refuse to listen to the morning show since Jeremy left.

      JustPlainDarren - 2011-06-09 12:54

      Good to have you Stella!

  • Dom Oreto - 2011-06-08 15:30

    He (Paul, with his MENSA membership) was too intelligent for this show anyway . Stopped listening to 94.7 long time ago (with J.M. still there) - most of the times it was insulting - most of the , so called "surprising" pranks - weren't surprising. Music - is cheap mass-production. Wacked - is an ego-centric , poorly educated, badly mannered but, looks like, power hungry person.

  • I Are Bender - 2011-06-08 15:32

    I will from now tune into another station unexpectedly. Good bye 94.7

  • schmurtle - 2011-06-08 15:44

    Kudos to Paul R for trying to instill some sanity in this world thats gone Gaga. I have three small kids too and some things need to be said and some not specifically not on a morning show. All the best Paul R!

  • Xinobia - 2011-06-08 15:46

    Paul were the best person on the show! How thick of them to do this. The show has gone more under the belt than it used to be. What's left if Paul with his funny dry comments aren't there anymore? Yes Paul, I also think that the station should have given you the chance to say good bey to your fans! I'm upset that they didn't!!!!!! I hope they loose way more listeners than they ever thought possible!!!! All of the best for you in the future! We will miss you dearly!!!!!!!!!

  • Vlooi2008 - 2011-06-08 16:00

    Wackhead is a moron. I was one of the lucky ones that was caught by him a couple of years ago. He promised that he would help me out with my "issue" when I emailed him he never got back to me. Typical he profits because of my misfortune but would help after he promised. They are all losers!!!! Jacaranda rocks!

      JustPlainDarren - 2011-06-09 13:38

      Good to have you with us Vlooi

      Vlooi2008 - 2011-06-09 16:04

      Love your work JustPlain ... Keep it up! PS. Loved the Crackhead piece yesterday morning!

  • bradm911 - 2011-06-08 16:02

    It's why I rather listen to 5FM

  • Raal - 2011-06-08 16:05

    Paul was the best of a bad bunch. All radio station DJ's nowadays think they are politicians, psychiatrists, economists and brain surgeons. Their opinions are best kept to themselves, rather play music, tell us about the artists, give us good news, up to date traffic reports and no more silly childish "pranks" Jacaranda and 94.7 are the worst with breakfast shows.... a bunch of false giggling Gerties.

      henk - 2011-06-08 16:14

      Im 100% with you on this one!

  • Vuyo's Wors - 2011-06-08 16:05

    Now they just need to fire Wackhead, Sam and Bongani.

  • Hydrocynus - 2011-06-08 16:13

    So that leaves Darren and Sam, the 2 most annoying morons on morning radio. I prefer the 2011 MTN Radio Award Winner for the best breakfast show - John Robbie!

  • Superdude - 2011-06-08 16:16

    Not a fan of the breakfast show under an imature Darren Simpson - how did he get a job in radio with that voice? The show has declined since Jeremy left. He may have been arrogant, but he spoke well and sounded educated, the opposite of Darren who ummms and aaahs his way through everyday.

  • Annie - 2011-06-08 16:37

    I support him 100%. Had a similar problem a few years ago - as I had to switch the radio off on the way to school due to some very risque jokes being told. Complaint to the Broadcasting Complaints Commission just to be told that 07h00 in the morning is not considered a time that school children listens to the radio, but I could appeal this if I want to bring my own lawyer, etc. Just decided to go the cheap route - and stopped listening radio.

  • ChrisW - 2011-06-08 16:58

    Well done Paul for having a value system your actions do your family proud and many listeners I am sure. Best wishes for the future today I turned off 94.7 in support and it will stay off. Wackhead builds his own sick brand of humour and continually displays a lack of morals. Hopefully many listeners will support you by boycotting 94.7. A thoroughly unprofessional lot and Sam Cowan gets branded with the same brush. Wackheads explanation of your exit today was pathetic and bordered on lying.

  • Cecile Kiley - 2011-06-08 17:05

    The fact that he was told he needn't come back is not the same as having his contract end at the end of the month. Highveld specifically said they're 'moving in different directions' than Paul. Well if 94.7's moving in the 'crud' direction, I'd like to know where Paul's moving to, next, as I'm tired of people (especially those in power) being 'dazed and confused' when kids do crazy stuff in our country, and then they (the decision makers) wonder why (when their programming and age limits actually ENCOURAGE kids to grow up too fast and know too much, too soon. Good luck, Paul, and thanks for having the guts to speak up.

  • MarkW - 2011-06-08 17:09

    The show is childish, boring, crude and a pain to listen to. Darren is really not cut out to be a morning drive show DJ. I give him credit for trying, but he is very trying. As for Sam, she always laughs louder at her own jokes than anyone else in the studio. She's her own biggest fan. She also constantly interrupts Darren when he's talking... must either really love the sound of her own voice or is very opinionated. Also very rude. Regarding Highveld generally, it's a shadow of its former self. The music they play is crap, and every 3rd song is rap (sorry, I wasn't trying to get that to rhyme). I too have switched to Jacaranda and it's awesome.

  • Rocky_III - 2011-06-08 17:28

    Breakfast Express has turned a once great timeslot into a mess. Whackhead is simply to ignorant to maintain a sensible contribution. You just have to hear how many times he trips over his own words to realise that he simply does not have the capacity to react and add lib on a morning show. Personally I have changed my morning radio show due to this idiot. He is actually so far out of his depth it is scary.

  • Grant beeton - 2011-06-08 17:40

    The little skinny idiot is the one who should go! Thank goodness for Jacaranda!

      JustPlainDarren - 2011-06-09 13:39

      Thanks for listening Grant!

  • ARYANTO - 2011-06-08 18:14


      JustPlainDarren - 2011-06-09 13:40

      Good to have you with us Aryanto!

  • JadedKnight - 2011-06-08 18:40

    Whackhead and Cowen are kr@p!. Did anybody listen to whackhead the other day lecturing a listener on how she should pronounce her surname? He's an arrogant little twat who is NOT suitable to be a lead anchor. I switched to 5FM ( again ) and this time will not be switching back. Primemedia clearly just want the kiddie vote and are not interested in the adult listener. The music is sub-standard, the show is staged, the pranks are unfunny and just plain boring. FIRE WHACKHEAD!

  • John Paul - 2011-06-08 21:42

    Sorry, Paul, I can not employ you. You are right to want decency during family time radio: kids ride with their parents to school. Perhaps Natasha does not know that.

  • Chris - 2011-06-08 22:23

    I am sad to hear he has been fired but on the upside, he is better off. Darren hasn't got a talented bone in his body! What were they smoking when management gave him the Breakfast slot?? He has a whiny voice and just irritates me! I would love to know how many people have switched stations since he took over? I know I have....