‘I never quit Metro’
Denying he resigned, sports host Robert Marawa has accused the broadcaster of double standards
There was never a resignation. Show me the resignation letter,” TV and radio presenter Robert Marawa told Sakina Kamwendo on her AM Live radio show on SAfm on Thursday. This after the SABC broke the news on Wednesday that he had left the public broadcaster. “The SABC would like to announce that it has parted ways with sports presenter Mr Robert Marawa. SABC Sport has accepted his decision to repudiate his contract with the SABC, which he entered into with SABC Sport on June 6 2017. The SABC engaged Mr Marawa several times to try to remedy the situation,” the national broadcaster said in its media statement.
But it seems Marawa’s fans will hear him on Touch HD, the digital radio station owned by former Metro FM deejay, Thabo “Tbo Touch” Molefe.
This week, reliable sources from Touch HD told City Press that Marawa was in talks with the online station.
“We are looking for a sports presenter. We are in talks with Robert, but he has not signed any contract as yet. He has visited our studios a number of times,” said a source.
Touch HD spokesperson Lulu Mthimkhulu said Marawa was a friend of the station and regularly visited to meet up with his former colleagues.
“We would like him to join our Touch HD family, but for now nothing has confirmed,” she said.
In April, City Press reported that Molefe planned to poach Marawa, but at the time he neither confirmed nor denied this.
“I am on air at Metro FM and having a great time with the listeners,” Marawa told City Press at the time.
However, Molefe had insisted, “I am going to poach all their [SABC’s] best deejays until they give me my last show.”
Molefe said this after resigning from Metro FM and being told to leave immediately. He had planned to bid his audience farewell on his last show at the station that day.
While Marawa failed to respond to calls and text messages from City Press, asking about his next move, he broke his silence on Kamwendo’s show this week.
“Yes, there was a withdrawal of services. I did report that I was not going to come through to work and as an independent contractor, I am allowed to do that because I am not a full-time employee of the SABC,” he said.
He said he had just cause for doing so – because his producer was suspended over her decision to include a short commentary, which Marawa had quoted, from a show that was broadcast on SuperSport.
Last month, Marawa’s producer, Beverly Maphangwa, was suspended for noncompliance and contravention of her contract.
“So, I was taking responsibility for what I said on air, which seems to be a crime at the SABC,” he said.
He said he hoped one day the SABC would be brave enough to put this out on a public platform and debate whether it was wrong or right.
“If reading a message by [SuperSport presenter] Bab’ uMthethwa on air is deemed a crime, it is [inconsistent], TALK TO US Who do you think was in the wrong: the SABC for axing Robert Marawa, or Marawa for not pitching up for his show? SMS us on 35697 using the keyword SABC and tell us what you think. Please include your name and province. SMSes cost R1.50 because on Friday the very same show featured Brian Mitchell, who is a SuperSport boxing commentator, and ... a rugby commentary from SuperSport, which is the crime – but Beverly was suspended for this,” he said.
“This really shows that since SABC Sport took over the running of 083 Sports@6 [which Marawa hosted], there was an agenda. It became quite clear I was targeted.”
In its press statement the SABC acknowledged that Marawa contributed immensely to its sports brand.
“It was hard for us to accept but we concede his decision,” the statement read. But Marawa urged people not to believe half of the things in the SABC’s statement.
Robert Marawa has yet to confirm his next career move