SABC slams Safa for misleading and ill-informed statements

Mahlatse Mphahlele Sports reporter
The SABC has disputed claims it is withholding royalties. File photo.
The SABC has disputed claims it is withholding royalties. File photo.
Image: Waldo Swiegers

In what has turned out to be an ugly public spat‚ the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has slammed the SA Football Association (Safa) for misleading and ill-informed statements regarding the conclusion of sports caster Robert Marawa’s contract with the public broadcaster.

SABC parted ways with Marawa at the conclusion of his contract last week in an unpopular move that to led to widespread condemnation from followers of his daily sports programme Marawa Sports Worldwide (MSW) on Metro FM and Radio 2000.

Safa strangely entered the fray to support the public outcry with a strongly worded statement on Tuesday morning which wrongfully stated that Marawa’s contract was terminated.

“The SABC has noted with serious concern the misleading and ill-informed media statement issued by the South African Football Association (SAFA) regarding the conclusion of Robert Marawa’s contract with the public broadcaster‚” said SABC‚ who accused Safa of interfering with their human resources and operational affairs.

“The SABC regards this as an attempt by SAFA to interfere with the human resources and operational affairs of the public broadcaster. SAFA’s statement and its intention to meet with the SABC on this issue is unprecedented and in direct conflict with the SABC’s independence‚ which is guaranteed by law.

“It is quite clear that SAFA has issued a media statement without regard to the full details of the matter. The SABC reiterates that Robert Marawa's three-year contract was not terminated but ended as per the terms of his contract. Robert Marawa was duly notified of the non-renewal of his contract three months before it came to an end.

“The SABC strongly rejects SAFA’s assertion that the non-renewal of Robert Marawa’s contract is somehow connected with an attempt to restrict the expression of his views. SAFA’s comment in this regard is baseless and without foundation.

“It is disappointing that the organisation representing South African football has allowed itself to become part of the misinformation surrounding this issue. The public broadcaster assures the South African public that it will continue to discharge its mandate without fear or favour‚ whilst ensuring that the interests of the organisation are protected.”

Asked for comment‚ Safa spokesperson Dominic Chimhavi said they stand by their statement and they are not retracting a single word from it.