SAFPU would love to see the PSL paying all the money to the family of a player if he is deceased. In case he is declared unfit to play, he should also receive all his money, said SAFPU General Secretary, Thulaganyo Gaoshubelwe. This unfairness is demonstrated in the death benefits of Senzo Meyiwa, Richard Henyekanye and Cecil Lolo. SAFPU will fight this matter with the PSL and the insurance company.

Respect Senzo Meyiwa’s Family, was Senzo Meyiwa’s family not informed about the insurance pay-out before the announcement was made publicly because the PSL and Orlando Pirates knew that 50% of the pay-out is going to be paid to the club? As SAFPU, we want the players to be treated with respect, and this includes their families. We will stop at nothing to ensure that the matter of players’ insurance is sorted with the PSL and the insurance company, Delphisure.

Censorship Is Not Acceptable In The Media. The Constitution of South Africa, Chapter 2 section 16 states in part that “Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, which includes- (a) freedom of the press and other media & (b) freedom to receive or impart information or ideas. The Constitution is what guides us as a nation, irrespective of which position one occupies. As the South African Football Players Union (SAFPU), we have noted with grave concerns the story that appeared on the Sowetan of Friday, 13 Nov 2015 that a show was axed because Minister Mbalula moaned to the SABC bosses.

The fact that a programme on Metro FM, a station of the public broadcaster could be axed due to a complaint of one person is an indication of the rot at the SABC. This programme called Room Dividers on Robert Marawa’s 083 Sport Talk with Marawa is meeting the Constitutional mandate of imparting information so that the listeners can receive this information. Fikile Mbalula is not a member of the public, he is the Minister of Sport and Recreation for as long as he occupies this position. It is sad for the SABC through its spokesperson to try and remove the ministerial cap from Fikile Mbalula by saying that “We have not canned the show but there was a complaint about that show by Mr. Mbalula.

He felt he was wronged and that things were said without him being given an opportunity to respond. We don’t see political interference in this in any way… Although the Room Dividers is about rugby, as SAFPU we have an interest in this matter because:

  1. Censorship in any form, by whoever is wrong and does not have space and a role in a democracy. The 083 Sport Talk with Marawa is known for addressing any issue that relates to sport, without fear or favour. The SABC cannot allow for anyone to censor content, irrespective of whether the individual or group is Fikile Mbalula or whoever. This show always raises current issues on sport, and those who seek recourse, are always provided with a platform.

 

  1. As SAFPU, we have not received enough coverage to articulate our issues or a right of reply with regards to the malaise in our football on the 083 Sport Talk with Marawa. Our view has always been that there is a powerful force behind the scenes that censors Robert Marawa not to provide us with the platform to articulate our issues. It is common knowledge that the football bosses are powerful figures, just like Minister Mbalula, some have access to those who have political power whose word justifies the SABC to censor anything they don’t like. Players continue to be exploited because their voice through their union is not given adequate coverage. Our job as SAFPU is to represent the needs and interest of the players, who continue to be short-changed whilst the bosses amass wealth and pay themselves millions in commissions from the PSL money.

We would like to see the SABC do the right thing by not censoring anything on the 083 Sport talk with Marawa and any other show in the SABC platforms. As a nation, we must be seen to be talking, even if we say things others would not like to hear so that the outcomes of these conversations build us into a stronger, resilient and tolerant society. When we do so, we are able to foster nation building and guarantee social cohesion.