Failure by South Africa to secure and host the 2022 Commonwealth Games has worsened the strained relationship between Minister of Sport Fikile Mbalula and sportscaster Robert Marawa.
This week, the long-standing spat resurfaced on the back of the department of sport’s announcement it would no longer be hosting the games.
The city of Durban missed a number of deadlines and was subsequently stripped of the rights to host the games.
After referring to the sports ministry as “Tarzan”, Marawa was taken to task with the minister threatening court action on Tuesday, tweeting: “Robert Marawa has a personal vendetta against me‚ with time he will be exposed. I don’t have time for chaps like that.
“The charge he made I tried to get him fired from Metro FM he will answer very soon in court‚ period. I will get my name cleared,” he tweeted.
Mbalula continued in a series of tweets that have since gone viral.
Speaking to The New Age yesterday, the 083 Sports @ 6 host said he had no control over what the minister said.
“I cannot comment on what the minister wants to write about me on Twitter. If he feels like I have a personal vendetta against him that’s fine. At this stage I cannot say anything.
“Everything I want to say I will say in court,” he said.
Mbalula’s spokesperson Esethu Hasane said the department of sport had no comment.
“Our stance on the matter is exactly what the minister said in his tweets,” he said.
Mbalula also accused Marawa of failing to invite him to his Metro FM sports show so he could offer his side of the Durban 2022 fiasco.
It is not the first time that the two have aired their disagreements publicly.
In 2015, the two figures of SA sport fought after Mbalula cancelled his appearance on the show in which Marawa had invited Mbalula to debate transformation in rugby.
The minister was subsequently allegedly verbally attacked by one of the guests on the show, Thando Manana, who said the minister had no first hand experience of the goings on in rugby.
This was further exacerbated by Marawa’s public reading of a private message by the minister in which he explained his reasons for failing to show up.
After a series of Tweets directed at Marawa, yesterday Mbalula received a message from Twitter notifying him that he has been blocked from communicating with the sports presenter.
28/02/2017 @Robertmarawa: @ntlokom: Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula says Durban could loose the 2022 Commonwealth Games due to cost challenges!! Kushubile…
@ntlokom This we knew when they were busy acting like Tarzan!!
@MbalulaFikile: I have no gripe FYI. I have a different opinion. Different to u trying to get me fired from MetroFM, that’s a gripe.
@MBALULAFIKILE @NTLOKOM It’s my opinion… I can’t change it,
facts checked & as for the “usual hot air” that is usually ur department!!
Mbalula timeline @MbalulaFikile
28/02/2017: @robertmarawa @ntlokom Your gripe be honest you never believed in us hosting the Commonwealth games.
@robertmarawa @ntlokom Study the facts get the report and dont be vindictive bfo you blow your usual hot air on the matter.
@robertmarawa @ntlokom Y will I want you get fired. Smh,You should have long BEEN fired I defended U. DON’T DIGRESS More