‘I never quit Metro’

Deny­ing he re­signed, sports host Robert Marawa has ac­cused the broad­caster of dou­ble stan­dards

CityPress - - News - NTOMBIZODWA MAKHOBA ntombizodwa@city­press.co.za

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.

PHOTO: TREVOR KUNENE

Robert Marawa has yet to con­firm his next ca­reer move

Jub Jub

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