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Open letter to South Africa’s students‚ universities and government‚ represented by Minister in the .

Awards don't always go to the deserving

By unknown | Nov 06, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]



There is something about awards that always gets my goat.

The reason being they are always questionable and controversial.

Sometimes it's downright robbery.

Often times they are fixed.

Just like the media awards we used to have.

They were almost always rigged. And some of the supposed winners have lived to regret it.

It's not nice always being reminded that you are where you are because someone did this or that for you.

We refused to be part of it. We wanted to be judged as a team or department if you will.

And, it made a lot of people very happy. There was less competition.

But, was there credibility? We believe ours are credible because we got them as a collective and will continue doing so.

We mention this because the presidential awards handed over by President Kgalema Mothlanthe to a number of deserving South Africans again brought the debate to the fore.

One may have missed some information on the awards and the criteria used to honour those chosen.

If that is the case, one would like to apologise beforehand.

But, in case you didn't miss anything to that effect then let me put my argument across.

This has to do with the awards handed to those involved in sport.

Among them were rugby player Bryan Habana and former soccer star, the late Patrick "Ace" Ntsoelengoe who was honoured posthumously.

It was touching and many people must have been moved by the tears that flowed from Ntsoelengoe's widow when she accepted the award on behalf of her husband.

It was good that the great Mabhekaphansi nje ngesambane was being recognised in his country at last.

He had earlier been inducted to the Hall of Fame in the United States for his role in popularising the game in that neck of the woods.

Now, let this not be misconstrued as one playing the man and not the ball.

I can assure you my eyes are firmly on the ball.

As explained earlier, one is not familiar with the exact criteria used to select those worthy of these awards.

But, be that as it may, this particular award was said to have been influenced by, among others, Ntsoelengoe's contribution to the development of the game.

Excuse me! But where has one been?

Believe you me, if that was the case then the judges or whoever takes such decisions are not well informed and should have consulted.

When one looks at people who played during his era like Kaizer Motaung and Jomo Sono then one realises the differences in output.

Not only did they form their own teams, creating hundreds of jobs but they are up there with the best when it comes to developing the game and nurturing young talent.

They have development structures in place and were honoured for such.

Unfortunately one cannot say the same about Ntsoelengoe.

There will, of course, be those who know better and may differ with me. Well and good but, as pointed out before, where was I when Ntsoelengoe was involved in development?

That is the problem with awards.

l So Mamelodi Sundowns coach Trott Moloto claims he has no problem with an English-type manager coming in at the club?

He is quoted as saying this would be a good move that would benefit everyone at the club, including himself. He would learn from someone who has coached at the highest level.

Methought Moloto has been there, seen that and bought the T-shirt. Coaching a national team and being in the dugout at a the African Cup of Nations - where he finished third - is not an achievement to be scoffed at.

One knows that there is always room for improvement in whatever we do but we should be able to put it across in a manner that doesn't show us up as nonentities.

Anyway, it is an open secret that Patrice Motsepe doesn't give a hoot in firing coaches irrespective of where the team is on the log.

He twice fired coaches who were in second position on the log and in line to clinch the championship because he believes no one remembers who came second.

Let's hope the Sundowns technical team enjoys the coming classes.

This is when OBE (outcomes- based education) could be most welcome.


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