Mandatory Challenjah: Who needs media skills, Mr Minister?

2010-09-09 07:49

My wife is a great cook. Probably among the best.

Last night, she outdid herself.

Only for all that to be undone by Minister of Sports and Recreation Makhenkesi Stofile.

Stofile made one of his characteristic cameo appearances on TV.

There should be a “SLVN-like” warning ahead of the appearances of individuals like Stofile during prime time TV as that is mostly a time for supper – lest people lose their appetites.

Stofile this time spewed indigestible bile against Springbok coach Pieter de Villiers, himself a master of saying nothing in the most quotable way.

The minister claimed that he was “embarrassed” and “angered” by De Villiers, following a string of media utterances by the habitual foot-and-mouth disease suffering coach.

But a shocking statement by Stofile was this: “Dealing with the media needs a special skill.”

Really minister?

That’s rich coming from Stofile, who vanishes akin a needle in a haystack whenever he is needed for comment by the media.

If the vilified De Villiers was watching and listening, he was probably tempted to grab the one instrument that brings out the best in him – the microphone – and borrow from Don Williams in crooning: “Before you accuse me, take a look at yourself!”

The worst part is that Stofile’s senior communication staff has also been rendered useless and ineffective.

Spokesperson Manase Makwela is a good person and a good communication practitioner – always available and quite reliable. But there is nothing that even he can do to spin for the minister.

Every time the hapless Makwela is bombarded with queries from scribes, one can easily detect that the man’s hands are tied.

Lerato Mogorosi, the media liaison officer, probably needs IT intervention as her server seems to be forever down.

Whenever an inquiry is made, the funny procedure is that an email should be sent to Mogorosi.

But that will be the end of it.

Who needs skills of dealing with the media now, Mr Minister?

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