The South African Broadcasting Corporation has clapped back at the South African Football Association (Safa), after the country’s football mother body openly condemned the unpopular decision by the broadcaster not to renew the contract of sports presenter Robert Marawa.
On Tuesday Safa wrote a scathing statement directed at the broadcaster, expressing its disapproval on the release of Marawa.
“It is unfortunate that as we celebrate the right to freedom of speech and diversity of opinions, the main broadcasters in the country Supersport and SABC find that such differing and diverse opinions are not to be tolerated on their platforms,” reads the statement.
“South Africa and its broadcast platforms must show greater tolerance to the diversity of opinions.”
Safa said that the SABC’s decision will hinder football development and professional profiling of the sport.
However, the SABC rebutted the claims by SAFA almost immediately by saying that the statement by the football organisation was ill informed, misleading, and concerning.
It said that it was viewing this as Safa’s attempts to interfere with its Human Resources and its operational affairs.
“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,” the SABC replied.
The SABC said that it was clear that SAFA had issued a 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,” Explained the SABC’s statement.
“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.”
Marawa parted ways with the SABC on Friday after the end of his final show Marawa Sport Worldwide (MSW) which he presented on Metro FM and Radio 2000.
Before Friday’s show he shared a controversial chat between him and acting station manager Kina Nhlengethwa which caused an uproar in social spaces and the public at large.