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SABC's priorities all mixed up

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By Lungani Zama

Well, if you’re reading this, then the world hasn’t been obliterated just yet. And to think, I had even found myself a bunker in fear of the worst.

Having plonked into the treacherous 17th at Durban Country Club, I spent enough time down there to suggest that I was really making myself comfortable for the next few weeks.

Alas, there will be plenty of time yet to get some practice in digging oneself out of a hole, though the same cannot be said for two of our country’s “premier” organisations.

Between them, Safa and SABC have dropped the ball more times than the most butter-fingered mini cricket side, and yet heads still don’t roll at the top.

How Safa will ever remove the size 15 boot that they have squarely inserted in their mouth after the 2010 fix came to our attention, we shall never know.

Those who thought results were bad now for Bafana will have to consider just how parlous they would have been without referees doing the equivalent of our beloved traffic cops who hide behind bushes with cameras – and then ask for “cooldrink” to turn things in our favour.

It is embarrassing, shameful even, to consider that even the suits at Safa think we have gone so far down the ladder that we need officials to be on our side to stand a chance. The microscope will fall squarely on Gordon Igesund and his charges now, as the world looks to see what they can do on an even playing field.

We can only hope that the book is thrown at Kirsten Nematandani and his cohorts over this debacle, because there is no way that the national game can be reduced to a laughing stock like this.

The country needs to know that Safa – and our eternal referee, the trigger-happy Fikile Mbalula – will roll up their sleeves and get to the bottom of this considerable mess.

If Mbalula can cut his boogie short and chase this as relentlessly as he pursued the Gerald Majola affair, then maybe we will see some justice.

And while he is at it, the sports minister needs to pop into the SABC and find out how they have arrived at the point where they think that the world’s No 1 Test side can somehow not be televised to its own people.

The SABC prioritises all sorts of PSL games, shifting programming – Generations aside – to accommodate anything that they assume will grab the nation’s attention.

They even get the rights for “delayed live” matches, deep into the night, yet they seem unconcerned about championing the only national team that sits atop its tree.

It is ridiculous. Having scaled the considerable heights that they have this year, Graeme Smith’s men may soon be reduced to just a highlights package after the news, for those who cannot afford DStv in these trying times.

But you can rest assured that the national broadcaster will force-feed us with a buffet of dull, poorly-attended football matches until the cows come home. This country needs genuine heroes and, sadly, they will not be found too readily in the diving, scheming cesspit of corruption and simulation that football has turned into.

Genuine stars, such as Hashim Amla, Dale Steyn, Smith himself and the colossal Jacques Kallis are feted the world over, but our impressionable youngsters who have nothing else to turn to will have to sit next to the radio and imagine what an Amla off-drive looks like.

It’s just not cricket, but we have learnt to expect that and much worse from the clueless brigade at Auckland Park.

The world may not have come to an end just yet, but it wouldn’t be the worst thing if the black curtain finally fell on those who have got fat while starving the nation of the least that we deserve. – Sunday Tribune

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