In a surprise move, the South African Football Association (Safa) has joined calls for the SABC to rehire popular sports caster Robert Marawa.
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The SABC announced last week that Marawa had not been retained and his popular and reportedly high grossing show, Marawa Sports Worldwide was coming to an end.
A spat ensued as Marawa was stopped from coming to the SABC studios to do his last show on Friday afternoon. He was alerted to this via a text message.
The news of departure started a wildfire on social media with people complaining about his removal from the SABC, some saying someone was settling personal scores.
On Tuesday morning, Safa also posted a lengthy statement joining the calls for the public broadcaster to reconsider their decision on Marawa.
“Safa wishes to express its disapproval following the termination of Robert Marawa’s contract with the public broadcaster SABC as this will hinder football development and professional profiling of the sport.
“Robert Marawa has over the years excelled as a major contributor to the analysis, insight and debate of football on the African continent and global stage.
“His shows have regularly attracted wide-range expert views and opinions that evidently contributed to the growth of South African football,” read the Safa statement.
Safa went on and accused the SABC and SuperSport of trying to shut down differing views. Marawa was previously with SuperSport TV but was fired there as well.
“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.
“Robert Marawa has a proven track record both nationally and continentally and has delivered major service to both local, CAF and FIFA platforms. He has used his extensive influence to enrich football debates in our country and the African continent at large.
“South Africa and its broadcast platforms must show greater tolerance to the diversity of opinions. Safa, as the football governing body in the country, will approach SABC to discuss this key aspect to the future of football in this country.”