SABC admits Robert Marawa wasn't 'told directly' about axing

06 July 2017 - 13:10 By Kyle Zeeman
Robert Marawa parted ways with the SABC on Wednesday.
Robert Marawa parted ways with the SABC on Wednesday.
Image: Tshepo Kekana.

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) have admitted they went public with their decision to terminate Robert Marawa's contract without 'notifying him directly'.

The broadcaster announced that it had parted ways with the popular sports presenter on Wednesday. However, just minutes after the media statement was released Robert told  TshisaLIVE he knew nothing about it.

He said he was alerted to the situation through colleagues after an internal notice was circulated at the public broadcaster.

Speaking to TshisaLIVE on Thursday, SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago admitted that it went public with announcement after receiving word from his lawyers because it could not get in touch with Robert. 

"We have been in discussions with Robert for several weeks and he has been communicating with us through his lawyer. Once a decision had been made to part ways we notified the lawyer. We tried to contact Robert directly but were unsuccessful. So, once his lawyer acknowledged receipt of the mail, we announced the decision. As far as we are concerned, we did the right thing," Kaizer said.

He revealed the decision to dismiss Robert was made during a meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

Kaizer denied that the broadcaster flouted the rules in dismissing Robert and said they had grounds to do so because he refused to come to work.

"He did not honour his contract and refused to come to work. We spoke to him after he announced on social media that he would not return until the matter between his producer and the SABC was resolved. We reached out to him several times but he told us directly that he would not come back until we resolved the issue.

"We never had a problem with Robert, only with his producer. He got involved. It was only when he refused to come to work, which is grounds for dismissal at the SABC, that it became a matter between us and Robert," Kaizer said.

He denied that there was a vendetta against the presenter at the SABC and claimed that they had done their best to ensure he stayed at the broadcaster. 

"No one is doubting his ability or his skill. We don't know if there was any intention to leave from his side, we don't want to speculate on that but we would not have worked with him for 10 years if we had an issue with him," Kaizer said. 

Robert did not reveal whether he intends to challenge the dismissal but Kaizer said from their perspective the matter was closed.

"We are not aware of any legal action against us from Robert's side but we have terminated his contract from our side. As far as we are concerned, the matter between us and him is done," Kaizer said.

UPDATE: 

Robert refused to comment further on his dismissal only telling TshisaLIVE that the matter was currently "under legal review".

He was also mum on his next move but told fans on social media to expect to hear him back on radio "soon".

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