Mbalula ditches live TV gig for Zuma

2012-10-25 10:03
Fikile Mbalula (Picture: Volksblad)

Fikile Mbalula (Picture: Volksblad)

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Johannesburg - Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula ditched a live television interview when he saw President Jacob Zuma arrive for the final draw of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in Durban, The Star newspaper reported on Thursday.

Mbalula was doing an interview with a pay-TV channel on Wednesday night when he saw Zuma's entourage approaching, the paper reported.

It was the first time Zuma and Mbalula have been together since Mbalula was reported to have made remarks against Zuma.

The sports journalist was startled when Mbalula left the interview and sprinted in Zuma's direction, the newspaper said.

Nigerian soccer star Daniel Amokachi, who was standing nearby, was also confused by the minister's movement, and asked those within distance: "Where is he going?"

The Star said that when Mbalula and Zuma took an elevator up to the VIP room, the strain between the two was “palpable”.

As they took the escalator to the VIP room the restraint between the two was palpable.

On Monday, Mbalula denied making comments against Zuma as reported by the Star. Mbalula said the report was a fabrication aimed at causing sensation.

In the report, Mbalula was quoted as attacking the president and rebuffing efforts by Zuma lobbyists to "neutralise" him.

"I have no time for Zuma. He has caused his own problems. He marries every week," Mbalula was quoted as saying.

Mbalula later claimed that he would never "stoop so low" as to discuss personal issues with a journalist.

"I wish to state clearly and categorically that, as we march to Mangaung, such media reports will emerge in the interest of sensationalism."

- SAPA
Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  fikile mbalula  |  durban  |  mangaung 2012  |  politics
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