Robert Marawa's new sports show at Radio 2000 hits a snag

MC Robert Marawa during the 2015/16 Premier Soccer League Awards at the Emperor's Palace in Johannesburg, South Africa on May 30, 2016.
MC Robert Marawa during the 2015/16 Premier Soccer League Awards at the Emperor's Palace in Johannesburg, South Africa on May 30, 2016.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Sports fans will have to wait for a bit longer for the return of popular sportscaster Robert Marawa to the radio airwaves after it emerged on Tuesday that he is yet to sign on the dotted line at Radio 2000.

Marawa was expected to start work at Radio 2000 on Easter Monday and host an eagerly awaited two-hour sports show between 5pm and 7pm on weekdays.

But the man himself confirmed to SowetanLIVE that he is yet to sign a contract with the radio station and the new sports show remains up in the air at the moment.

‘‘I have not seen a contract‚ I have not signed a contract‚” Marawa said on Tuesday.

Insiders told SowetanLIVE that there are still several outstanding issues that the two parties have not agreed on and this is the reason why the outspoken sportscaster has not returned to radio airwaves after a nine month absence.

The sources said Marawa’s two-hour sports show between 5pm and 7pm on weekdays is viewed by some at SABC as a threat to his former employers‚ Metro FM‚ as he is expected to go toe-to-toe with Thomas Mlambo‚ who has taken over the Ultimate Sports Show from Udo Carelse between 6pm and 7:30pm after this month’s line-up changes.

‘‘There was some serious disagreement on the time slot when all the parties met a few days ago‚” the insider said.

‘‘They wanted Robert’s show to be reduced from two hours to just one hour‚ from 6pm to 7pm on weekdays. That is not what Robert agreed to when Radio 2000 first approached him.

‘‘Hopefully this can still be resolved because the radio listeners have been eagerly awaiting Robert’s return to radio since leaving Metro FM last year.”

The Radio 2000 Twitter account muddied the waters further on Tuesday when a statement introduced a new line-up and content that included Marawa on the roster. The post was eventually deleted later on Tuesday.

SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago dismissed the contents of the statement and echoed Marawa‚ saying that the sportscaster has not signed a contract yet.

‘‘We have not issued any statement from my office‚” Kganyago said.

‘‘I know as a matter of fact that we have not signed anything with Robert.

‘‘They (Radio 200) should have come to me before issuing that statement.

‘‘The principle is we do not issue anything until everyone has signed.

‘‘As far as I am concerned that was not an official statement because it did not come from my office.”

Kganyago said Marawa could still join Radio 2000 at a later stage if the two parties get past the outstanding issues but as things stand at the moment‚ he is not an employee of the station.

‘‘The fact is if somebody has not signed on the dotted line yet‚ he could still go somewhere else‚” he said.

Marawa and Metro FM had a bitter split in July last year over a disagreement about the suspension of his trusted producer‚ Beverley Maphangwa.

The standoff played out in the public spotlight and after more than a decade with the station‚ he walked out of the gates at Auckland Park for the last time in July last year.

But Marawa’s absence from the radio airwaves has been a constant source of unhappiness for the listeners and they have continued to communicate their discontent to the SABC.

They took to social media to express their happiness when SowetanLIVE broke the news of Marawa's pending arrival at Radio 2000 last month.

They will not be happy when they find out that there are new obstacles that could prevent his return.

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