The SABC has responded with disappointment at the assertions by SAFA, which stands in support of recently dismissed sports broadcaster, Robert Marawa.
Robert Marawa.

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) took to Twitter on Tuesday, 3 August 2021, to share a statement reflecting on the South African Football Association’s (SAFA) support of Robert Marawa. On Friday, 30 July 2021, the SABC confirmed that Marawa was one of two sports broadcasters that were no longer part of the corporation. Moreover, the public broadcaster honouring Vaylen Kirtley on her last day and not Marawa led to questions on whether Marawa’s departure was amicable.

On Monday, 2 August 2021, Marawa held an interview where he made assertions which highlighted that his departure was not amicable. Marawa suggested that he did not know that his contract was not being renewed until the day before when he was alerted that he did not need to come to work the next day. Moreover, Marawa suggested that the dismissal was an attempt to silence him.

Insiders have labelled it recurring narrative in Marawa’s relationship with the broadcaster. SAFA, however, has rallied behind Marawa, suggesting a meet up with the broadcaster in an attempt to reach an amicable agreement, which would see Marawa return to the SABC. However, the SABC has made it clear that it will not be engaging with SAFA.

The public broadcaster stated, “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 added, “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.”

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