SuperSport gives Robert Marawa the boot
History repeated itself on Thursday night after popular sportscaster Robert Marawa was told by SuperSport management just hours before going on air not to bother turning up at work.
Marawa had met the pay channel’s management on Wednesday and was told that his contract would not be renewed. SuperSport confirmed the decision had been taken, saying that a "restructure" of its football coverage didn't include Marawa.
But on Thursday, the sportscaster took to Twitter to drop a bombshell. He told his more than 806,000 followers that he had been fired from his popular SuperSport television show, Thursday Night Live with Marawa, via text message.
He said he received the message just hours before he was to head to studio for the live broadcast of the show.
“I received a text around 18H50 tonight informing me that I should not bother coming to studio for Thursday Night Live with Marawa on @SuperSportTV,” Marawa tweeted. "I would like to thank all those who have supported my journey as a Sportscaster & those I've worked with at Supersport!”
Asked by a follower what happened, Marawa tweeted: "One day u will ALL know. It will cost me my life but u will know."
I received a text around 18H50 tonight informing me that I should not bother coming to Studio for Thursday Night Live with Marawa Show on @SuperSportTV... I would like to thank all those who have supported my journey as a Sportscaster & those I've worked with at Supersport! ✌🏼✌🏼— robertmarawa (@robertmarawa) May 16, 2019
The relationship between Marawa and SuperSport had deteriorated to icy depths in recent days and he was seen entering the pay channel’s Randburg headquarters with his lawyers in tow on Thursday afternoon.
The relationship had reportedly become untenable, and Thursday night’s episode of Thursday Night Live with Marawa was to be his final appearance on the show.
But SuperSport allegedly elected to pull the plug earlier, as there were fears that Marawa would inform loyal viewers of the popular show live on air about the behind-scenes tensions.
Marawa's co-presenter, Thato Moeng, hosted the show alone on Thursday.
One day u will ALL know. It will cost me my life but u will know.— robertmarawa (@robertmarawa) May 16, 2019
“History has repeated itself hasn’t it?” an insider said.
“Remember that SABC and Robert parted ways the same way all those years ago and they stopped him from going on air on SoccerZone and informing viewers about what was going on behind the scenes live on the show?
“SuperSport have pretty much done the same thing. But, guess what, they’ve opened a massive can of worms and things are going to come out, mark my words," the insider added.
Marawa could not be reached for comment on Thursday.
SuperSport spokesperson Clinton van der Berg confirmed to TimesLIVE on Thursday night that Marawa no longer had a contract with the broadcaster. Marawa, he said, had been informed of the decision earlier in the week.
“SuperSport is in the process of an exciting refresh of its local presenter line-up, which will be unveiled as part of our new football season campaign. This restructure includes us not pursuing our contractual relationship with Robert Marawa. Robert was personally advised of our decision earlier this week.
“We are grateful for his contribution over the years and wish him great success in his future endeavours,” he said via text message.
The sportscaster was apparently scheduled to anchor the final of the Champions League between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur on June 1, and it remains to be seen what will happen now.