WHAT’S THERE to celebrate when all seems to be pear-shaped at the public broadcaster?
On Monday, the SABC hosted its 85th anniversary and for some this did sit well for many a reasons.
To make matters worse, this week the public broadcaster made headlines when it fired one of its ‘cash-cows’ and legendary sports broadcaster Robert Marawa, through a text once AGAIN!
Yes, Marawa did confirm his contract was not renewed but what did not sit well with him, is the treatment meted out to him, when he was meant to broadcast his last Marawa Sports Worldwide show on both Metro FM and Radio 2000 a simulcast.
According to the outspoken Marawa, he also confirmed ‘external forces’ are behind the non-renewal of his contract.
“They (external forces) dangle the carrot to the SABC and tell them if you don’t deal with this guy, you will not get our funding,” he says.
He likened the situation now at the SABC as the same as at Randburg (SuperSport), where he was also fired through a text, for speaking out against sexual allegations levelled against senior personnel at the station.
“The very same cabal is behind all these. I’m certain and very sure who they are but won’t reveal until such a time comes,” he said.
But the question on many is, how could SABC claim that Metro FM numbers were declining and Marawa’s sport show was no longer valuable when in contrast it had over million listenership and revenue driven?
SABC Group Executive for Radio, Nada Wotshela, said they did not renew his contract because the show did not add value and numbers had declined, amongst reasons.
In response, Marawa counteracted and asked why did they not support the show, when from initial meetings, they agreed they would and why they pulled off the promos my team had worked on?
As indicated there’s a cabal behind all this, says Marawa with conviction. “They invested a lot in Radio 2000 and not at Metro FM on my show yet we coined it.”
He’s not interested in contesting the sacking.
Marawa host his own sportscasting show called Thursday Night Live On Marawa TV.
It was first broadcasted on SuperSport. His dismissal prompted him to broadcast his popular show which is now exclusively on YouTube.
Another seasoned sport presenter Vaylen Kirtley’s contract was not renewed.
The same SABC has also been lamented for clipping wings of journalists by indicating they will intercept all communication or ‘spy’ on its staff.
This comes after months that the corporation had resolved to use the State Security Agency to manage leaks of information.
The organisation made workers sign consent for their communication to be intercepted, monitored, read, saved or acted upon when stored on the equipment that belongs to the corporation, among others.
The interception and surveillance of journalists includes their e-mails, SMSes, telephone and cellphone conversations.
The Broadcasting, Electronic, Media & Allied Workers Union (Bemawu) and Right2Know’s media freedom, have slammed the public broadcaster stance, citing it will hinge on reporters freedom of association to interact with their sources and it will infringe on their constitutional rights and the Cybercrime Act.
Meanwhile, South African Football Association has expressed their disapproval at the termination of Marawa’s contract saying this will hinder football development and professional profiling of the sport.
“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.”
Image (Its ‘raining cats and dogs’ as Robert Marawa leaves SABC yet again amid controversy).