6 legends: Great SA sportscasters

2014-06-22 15:00

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Michael Abramson

Michael Abramson

Not just magic on TV, Abramson is also a well-known magician who specialises in mentalism, which he calls “intelligent magic”. His foothold in sports broadcasting started in the early 90s when he joined the SABC. He would later become one of the broadcaster’s mainstays, covering events like the 2004 Olympics in Athens, the cricket World Cup in 2003 and other world-class events. Abramson was senior cricket ­commentator for Radio 2000 and hosted his own weekly radio show on SAfm.

Martin Locke

Martin Locke

When TV was first introduced to South Africa, Locke was one of its first sports-presenting stars. Also known for compiling the Springbok Hits series of albums, he first presented Sportsview, a popular Friday night programme on air between 1976 and 1980. He became a central ­feature of SABC’s sports coverage. In 1997 Locke was lauded as the only professional presenter capable of handling a ­programme as complex as Topsport. This at a time when the broadcaster axed a string of high-profile commentators just days before the programme’s relaunch. He now works as a media-skills trainer teaching TV presenting to aspirant youths.

Cebo Manyaapelo

Cebo Manyaapelo

Some will remember Manyaapelo from his days at Radio Bop in the late 80s. He later joined Radio Mmabatho, which was then merged with Radio Setswana to form Motsweding FM. He was host of a long-standing breakfast show on the popular station and is still there today – hosting the evening show. In between, he has taken up roles as soccer commentator and match analyst on SABC television throughout the years.

Dumile Mateza

Dumile Mateza

The man with the distinctive twang ­continues to be a sterling feature of sports broadcasting in South Africa. He has been at it for more than 30 years. It is ­almost impossible to imagine ­televised boxing matches since the early 90s without his voice. Mateza has also covered international sporting events like the Atlanta Olympic Games. He has also served on the Boxing SA board and has held various corporate positions.

Trevor Quirk

Trevor Quirk

Quirk is best remembered for his work as a cricket commentator and broadcaster. He was also one of the first to get a foot in the door when TV began here, moving from radio. He started at SABC radio as a 19-year-old in 1967 working as a sound operator with the English Service, Springbok Radio and Radio Highveld. He was sent to the 1976 Montreal Olympics as a radio broadcaster. In 1981 he became SABC’s head of television sport. After his retirement in 1995, Quirk continued to shape the TV sports experience as a freelancer until 2004.

Dan Setshedi

Dan Setshedi

Many knew him affectionately as Oom Dan. He started his ­career at Radio Bantu in the 60s. He joined SABC TV’s sports department in the 70s, where he mostly covered boxing events locally and abroad. Boxing fans will remember his radio coverage of the 1979 Gerrie Coetzee vs Leon Spinks world heavyweight title bout held in Monte Carlo. Setshedi ­continued to work as a commentator and analyst during ­international and important local soccer matches even after his formal ­retirement in 1991. He passed on in 2012.

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