Robert Marawa is leaving the SABC again - we look back at the first time he returned to the broadcaster

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The SABC has announced that Robert Marawa is leaving
The SABC has announced that Robert Marawa is leaving
Sydney Seshibedi

The public broadcaster announced he was back and the internet went into meltdown.

And now they've sent fans spinning again with the announcement that he's leaving. Veteran sports presenter Robert Marawa has parted ways with the SABC, the public broadcaster announced. 

"The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), would like to announce the departure of renowned sports broadcasters, Mr. Robert Marawa and Ms. Vaylen  Kirtley. Robert Marawa departs following the conclusion of the MSW (Marawa Sport Worldwide), which Marawa presented on both METRO FM and Radio 2000 simultaneously.

"Ms. Kirtley presented the Sport segment of SABC’s television current affairs show, Morning Live, and was also an anchor for SABC sport programming.  She joined the SABC 20 years ago and started with junior sports programmes at the time," the SABC said.

"The SABC would like to wish Mr. Marawa and Ms. Kirtley well in their future endeavours and appreciates their contribution to SABC Sport programming."

In July 2017, Marawa was fired from Metro FM. 

The decision was taken due to behind-the-scenes in-fighting. Three weeks before his axing, Robert had refused to return to his sports show in solidarity with his producer, Beverly Maphangwa, whom he believed had been unfairly suspended after playing clips on-air that included commentary from pay-channel SuperSport.

After a public spat the SABC took him off air. And then he came back.

In a candid interview just days after the SABC announced his return, Robert told Drum he doesn’t regret what happened. “I took a firm stand in support of my producer and I’d do so over and over again because you’ve got to stand up for certain principles.”

Robert told us he was grateful to the listeners who petitioned for his return. “The listener is my boss. They formed forums and there were people who signed a petition and went to the parliamentary portfolio committee and demanded my return.

“People rallied because they knew what had happened was wrong and there was no legal merit for what happened.”

His colleagues in the entertainment and broadcast industry also stood by him, Robert adds. “People like [DJ] Lulo Café and [Metro FM presenter] Wilson B Nkosi. Wilson was the biggest weekly requester of me to come back.

Read more | Robert Marawa speaks on the interference that lead to his departure from the SABC in 2017

"He kept on saying ‘Whatever it is, whatever it takes, please come back’.”

Broadcasters Ismail Abrahams and Rams Mabote also threw their weight behind him, urging him to return to radio. He came back in 2018 to host a simulcast sports show on Metro FM and Radio 2000 from 6-7 pm, Monday to Friday.

And now he's going off-air - again. 

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