Category Archives: Sports

DStv makes more SuperSport channels available for non-premium subscribers

DStv has announced that non-premium subscribers can now have access to more SuperSport channels from 19 March, 2020 until 30 April, 2020.

In a statement on its website, DStv said SuperSport 1, which was exclusively available on the DStv Premium package, will now be available on DStv Compact Plus and DStv Compact.

It added, “Furthermore, SuperSport 7, which is only available on the DStv Premium, Compact Plus and Compact packages, will now be available on DStv Family and DStv Access as well.”

COVID-19 to affect SuperSport schedule

Following the government’s declaration of a national state of disaster in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, restrictions have been placed on the number of people restaurants and public other entertainment places may admit.

More South Africans may therefore find themselves spending more time at home and would thus welcome DStv’s announcement.

Nevertheless, the outbreak has led to the cancellation or postponement of several sporting events around the world.

In an update on its website on Thursday, SuperSport said, “This will have an impact on SuperSport’s ability to broadcast the relevant sporting events. We will continue to monitor the situation and make the necessary changes to our broadcast schedule as developments occur.”

More free channels on DSTV Now

Earlier this week, DStv Now also announced that it was making available 13 channels for all South Africans to watch free of charge.

It said the decision is aimed at expanding access to news channels so that more South Africans can stay up to date regarding the coronavirus outbreak.

The free channels are now available to all South Africans who have an internet connection and not just subscribers.

The following 24-hour news channels are now available for free on DSTV Now: BBC World, CNN, Sky News, eNCA, SABC News, Newzroom Afrika, and Euronews Now.

Other free channels include DStv (100), TBN, People’s Weather, SuperSport Play, PBS Kids and Channel O.

South Africans can also watch episodes of popular Mzansi series such as IgaziThe RiverIsibayaBinnelandersSuidooster, and Die Ware Naarheid via the Catch Up portal on the free service.

SAFA: Suspension of football is final, playing behind closed doors not a solution

The South African Football Association (SAFA) has reiterated that its decision to suspend all forms of football in the country in response to the coronavirus outbreak is final.

Addressing the media on Wednesday, SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan said playing football behind closed doors is not a solution because evidence from Europe shows that players still got infected there.

Jordaan said, “SAFA, and no one else, runs football in the country in accordance with CAF [Confederation of African Football] and FIFA statutes.”

Health of referees

He said SAFA has an obligation to safeguard the health of its referees “who mostly use public transport to go and officiate games.”

Jordaan, who was accompanied by SAFA’s chief medical officer Dr Thulani Ngwenya, insisted that SAFA’s decision is final and binding.

For his part, Ngwenya said if the Premier Soccer League (PSL) continues as normal, the local football fraternity would not be able to adequately handle the risk of spreading coronavirus.

SAFA’s decision is at odds with the stance taken by the PSL and the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa.

PSL board of governors to meet

On Monday, PSL chairman Irvin Khoza announced the suspension of football matches this week, with a further decision to be made on Thursday at a meeting of PSL’s board of governors.

Mthethwa sparked further confusion on Tuesday when he said matches could go ahead without spectators.

He said, “As we speak, they can have their match tomorrow with no spectators. Even if we are going to reach a point where there may be no matches, it will be gradually phased in.

“But there is an obligation on them to follow to the letter the health and hygiene protocols as outlined by the department of health.”

However, Jordaan said whatever decision PSL’s board of governors take on Thursday, it should not disregard SAFA’s decision that all football should be cancelled until 4 April at the earliest.

President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a national state of disaster on Sunday in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

South Africa had 116 confirmed cases as of Wednesday morning, with 14 of those being cases of local transmission.

English football, cricket IPL postponed over coronavirus fears

England’s Football Association (FA) has announced the suspension of all professional games in England until 3 April “at the earliest” in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement on Friday, the FA said the decision was taken “due to the increasing numbers of clubs taking steps to isolate their players and staff because of the COVID-19 virus.”

The decision, which will nevertheless be under “constant review,” affects the Premier League, English Football League, FA Women’s Super League, FA Women’s Championship, Emirates FA Cup, and the Women’s FA Cup.

BCCI postpones IPL

According to The Sun, coronavirus cases in the United Kingdom have exceeded 600, with 10 people losing their lives.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has also postponed the start of the popular Indian Premier League (IPL) from 29 March to 15 April “as a precautionary measure.”

In a statement on Friday, it said, “The BCCI is concerned and sensitive about all its stakeholders, and public health in general, and it is taking all necessary steps to ensure that, all people related to IPL including fans have a safe cricketing experience.”

India has had 75 confirmed cases so far, with one person succumbing to the virus on Thursday.

Australia women’s ODI/T20I tour of SA postponed

On Thursday, Cricket Australia also announced the postponement of Australia women’s three-match One-Day International and three-match Twenty20 International tour of South Africa until further notice.

The matches had been scheduled for 22 March until 4 April. Cricket Australia said it would continue to monitor the situation before making a further decision.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize announced earlier on Friday that South Africa now has a total of 24 confirmed cases.

At a press briefing in Polokwane, Mkhize said eight new cases have been confirmed – four in Gauteng and two each in KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape.

He added that there could be more positive cases because the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) and National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) are verifying more test results.

Mkhize was speaking outside the Ranch Resort, where 122 South Africans being repatriated from Wuhan in China will be quarantined for 14-21 days. They are scheduled to arrive today (Friday).

Cabinet is set to hold a special meeting on Sunday to discuss possible travel bans and other measures. So far, all confirmed cases have involved people who had travelled abroad.

‘Did American Twitter come to a standstill when Winnie Mandela died?’ – Ntsiki Mazwai

Poet and singer Ntsiki Mazwai is known for her controversial views that often go against prevailing narratives or sentiments.

On Monday, she was at it again as the world, including South Africans, mourned the passing of US legendary basketball player Kobe Bryant.

In a tweet, she appeared to suggest that South Africans on Twitter are taking their reaction to the tragedy a little too far.

Tweet sparks debate

Mzawai wrote, “Did American Twitter come to a standstill when Winnie Mandela died? Does American Twitter come to a standstill when a South African sportsman has died??? Umbuzo nje [just a question].”

The tweet sparked intense debate among local fans of Bryant, sending Mazwai to the top of the trending lists.

Some, such as Twitter user George Balekane, supported the poet. He replied, “Ntsiki is making a good point. It even goes beyond that.

“We trade in US dollars, our military tactics are based on US standards, we imitate their music and culture. We must learn to conserve our own and protect our own until they give us same energy.”

Kobe Bryant’s visit to South Africa

However, others disagreed vehemently. Among them was Lebona Sanza, who replied, “I don’t think humanity and empathy should be a competition… or we should abandon ours just because we feel we wouldn’t get it from others… African love for one another has no boundaries.”

Popular sports broadcaster Robert Marawa also pointed out that Bryant visited South Africa in 2010. It was his first-ever visit to Africa.

During the visit, Bryant interacted with young soccer players at the Nike Football Training Centre in Soweto, Johannesburg.

He said at the time, “This is amazing to me because I never would have thought in a million years that playing the game of basketball would bring me to Soweto to talk to soccer kids about life, about having a dream.”

Bryant passed away on Sunday in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles, California, aged 41. His daughter Gianna was also among the nine people aboard the helicopter who perished.

He was one of the greatest basketball players to have played in the NBA and was third on the all-time NBA scorers list until Saturday when LeBron James surpassed him.

His last tweet congratulated James for his milestone. He wrote, “Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother #33644.”

EFF: Kobe Bryant ‘stood for black excellence in white-dominated USA’

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has paid tribute to legendary American basketball player Kobe Bryant, who passed away in a helicopter crash on Sunday aged 41.

In a statement issued on Monday by national spokesperson Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, the party said Bryant “stood for black excellence” in the “white-dominated USA.”

It said, “Basketball is one of the sports code in the white-dominated USA where black people have been unparalleled.”

Black excellence

The party added, “Against all the racism, collective humiliation and constant dehumanisation of black people, Bryant and his generation of sportsmen stood for black excellence.

“He is a flag that blacks across the world will continue to raise at the face of all white supremacy that doubts our ability and humanity.

“He is the legend that will continue to paint many walls of black lives to inspire excellence, greatness and pride.”

The EFF conveyed its condolences to the Bryant family as well as the families of the other victims of the crash.

9 people aboard helicopter

Reports indicate that all nine people aboard the helicopter passed away, including Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna.

According to the Associated Press, the helicopter went down “in a remote field” in Calabasas outside Los Angeles, California.

Bryant was one of the greatest basketball players to have played in the NBA. He was third on the all-time NBA scorers list until Saturday when LeBron James surpassed him.

His last tweet congratulated James for his milestone. He wrote, “Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother #33644.”

Bryant played for the Los Angeles Lakers throughout his 20-year NBA career, helping them to five NBA titles.

He retired in 2016 and is survived by his wife Vanessa Laine Bryant. The couple had four children together.

Proteas legend Jonty Rhodes admits benefitting from ‘white privilege’ in selection

Proteas legend Jonty Rhodes has said white privilege helped him secure his first selection into South Africa’s national cricket team.

In an interview with Indian publication The Hindu over the weekend, Rhodes said as a white cricketer growing up during apartheid, he only had to compete with a limited section of South Africa’s population at the time.

He explained, “You talk about white privilege and it raises a lot of heat and debate on social media but it is the case. I’m very aware of that. My cricketing statistics as a player were very average when I was selected.

‘I wouldn’t have been picked’

Rhodes added, “If I was competing with the rest of the country then possibly I wouldn’t have been picked. And I would not have been diving around the field.”

Transformation in cricket was brought to the fore again earlier this month when batsman Temba Bavuma was omitted from the Proteas squad against England in the second Test.

Although Bavuma and all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo have been recalled to the squad for the fourth Test, premier fast bowler Kagiso Rabada has been suspended.

Cricket South Africa’s transformation targets require the fielding of six players of colour, including at least two black Africans.

Opportunities in disadvantaged communities

Rhodes, who is widely regarded as one of cricket’s best fielders ever, lamented that equal opportunities are not accorded to disadvantaged communities.

He said, “The biggest question for me is why in over 20 years have we not produced opportunities for young players in disadvantaged communities? It’s not about racism. It’s about equal opportunity and that’s not happening.”

This has resulted in the absence of a large pool of talented black players on the domestic cricket scene, he explained.

Rhodes added that the cricket fraternity could learn from the way rugby administrators have built structures in disadvantaged areas.

According to him, South Africa’s democratic transition resulted in political freedom, but not economic freedom, in such areas.

In their series against England, the Proteas won the first Test convincingly, but struggled in the second and third Tests. They lost the third Test by an embarrassing innings and 53 runs.

The fourth Test is set to begin on Friday in Johannesburg.

It’s official: Patrice Motsepe, Johann Rupert now own 74% of Blue Bulls

Billionaires Patrice Motsepe and Johann Rupert now own 74% of Blue Bulls Company, which owns the Pretoria-based rugby franchise Blue Bulls.

Motsepe’s African Rainbow Capital and Rupert’s Remgro each own 37% while the Blue Bulls Rugby Union (BBRU) now owns the remaining 26%, according to an update on the club’s website on Friday.

The much-anticipated deal was reached during a meeting at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Thursday evening.

‘Privileged to have Motsepe’

Previously, Remgro and BBRU each owned 50% of the franchise. This means that they reduced their respective shares to allow a buy-in from Motsepe.

BBRU president Willem Strauss welcomed the deal, “We put a lot of effort into making this possible over the last few months, and I am proud to say that all the union committee members unanimously voted in favour of the deal.

“I firmly believe that private investors will add immense value to our beautiful game going forward. We are privileged and excited to have partners like Mr Motsepe in our corner.”

Motsepe is understood to have sought ownership of Blue Bulls to streamline its brand with that of Mamelodi Sundowns.

Second franchise controlled by private investors

Mamelodi Sundowns already play many of their home games at Loftus Versfeld, the Blue Bulls’ home ground.

In 2018, the colours of the Blue Bulls’ Super Rugby away jersey also matched those of Mamelodi Sundowns.

The deal means that Blue Bulls becomes South Africa’s second rugby franchise to be controlled by private investors. The first is Southern Kings.

Blue Bulls Company CEO Alfons Meyer was upbeat about the future of the franchise and its contribution to Pretoria’s communities.

He said, “I look forward to a host of synergies and opportunities that will be forged between us.

“With Mr Motsepe also owning soccer giants Mamelodi Sundowns, there is no doubt that a relationship like this will further enhance and entrench our vision to make Tshwane the sporting capital.”

Exclusive Books’ bid to promote unauthorised Siya Kolisi biography backfires

A bid by Exclusive Books to promote an unauthorised biography of Springboks captain Siya Kolisi on Twitter has seemingly backfired.

On Monday, the bookseller posted a tweet that appeared to cash in on Kolisi’s wave of publicity fresh from winning the Rugby World Cup over the weekend.

It offered to give away copies of Siya Kolisi: Against All Odds to three Twitter users from among those who shared what they thought of the Rugby World Cup final.

Tweet deleted

“We are giving away 3 copies of Siya Kolisi: Against All Odds. To enter, let us know what you thought of the Rugby World Cup Final, using just emoji’s!” the tweet read. It has since been deleted.

Image credit: Twitter/Exclusive Books

The book was released nationwide in September by Jonathan Ball Publishers and is authored by Jeremy Daniel.

It tells Kolisi’s inspiring story from his humble beginnings in the small Eastern Cape town of Zwide, his rise to the Boks captaincy as well as his marriage to Rachel Kolisi.

‘No approval from Kolisi’

However, before the book’s release, Kolisi took to Instagram in August to distance himself from it.

He wrote, “To end the confusion: The book published about me with my name on the cover wasn’t written by me or produced with my approval or even knowledge.”

Twitter users were quick to remind Exclusive Books that Kolisi never approved of the biography.

Twitter user Kananelo replied, “I think you should withdraw this opportunistic competition and find another way to celebrate our win.”

Graeme Mkhalimi added, “What you’re doing is not charity. What you’re doing is disingenuous promo of this book (which Siya didn’t approve) stacked in your store shelves. You want to make a quick profit out of this man who is the centre of Sports conversation. We don’t want this book… take it down.”

Although Exclusive Books eventually deleted the promotional tweet, some still demanded an apology.

@QueenWordsmith tagged Exclusive Books and tweeted, “Heyi wena come back here and issue an apology for your tweet and not just delete it…”

‘We refuse unity without equality:’ Ndlozi insists – and earns Malema’s support

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) spokesperson Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi has continued posting controversial tweets about the Springboks’ World Cup win.

On Monday, Ndlozi fired off several posts justifying his non-celebration of the historic triumph, insisting that there can be no unity without equality.

He wrote, “We are pushing against all efforts to pull a 1994/1996 on us AGAIN. We will not take the sleeping tablets of Rugby euphoria AGAIN. We will be better than our parents; we choose to feel the PAINFUL TRUTH of our wretched conditions. WE REFUSE UNITY WITHOUT EQUALITY AND THE LAND.”

‘Black excellence, not racial unity’

In another tweet, Ndlozi said, “What is apartheid; a system in which the white minority creates conditions that make the black majority satisfy themselves of being a minority.

“Careful because some blacks actually enjoy being the “only” blacks on top; the minority on top – it’s called the house n***** syndrome!”

The controversial member of parliament wasn’t done. In yet another post, he reminded his followers that South Africa remains the most unequal country in the world.

“We call this #BlackExcellence, NOT RACIAL UNITY. Because we recognise that Siya lifts a trophy for the most unequal nation in the world. A place where the white minority lives every day from the exploitation of blacks. He is part of this reality even as he lifts this trophy!” he wrote.

Julius Malema supports

EFF leader Julius Malema expressed support for Ndlozi, tweeting, “I don’t know why @MbuyiseniNdlozi is trending but I agree with him.”

Ndlozi kicked off a social media furore on Saturday with a series of tweets that were seemingly aimed at dampening the euphoria after the Springboks’ win.

His tweet congratulating captain Siya Kolisi only and “the rest go get your congratulations from Prince Harry” particularly drew condemnation from Twitter users.

Speaking to Jacaranda FM, Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader John Steenhuisen said Ndlozi was “upset” at the sight of South Africans of all races “pulling together.”

He said, “I think what gives the parties like the EFF and people like Mr Ndlozi chest pains is when they see South Africans of all cultures, all races, celebrating something together.”

However, others came to Ndlozi’s defence. Twitter user @UnmovedLee wrote, “I love nonconformists. Only dead fish go with the flow. I like those who swim against the current.

“I’m not EFF by mistake. Agitate. Upset the establishment. Revise the narrative. Write a different story. Stand away from the crowds.”

Panyaza Lesufi apologises for suggesting Boks fan adorned apartheid flag

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has apologised for suggesting that a Springboks fan had adorned the apartheid flag during South Africa’s World Cup semifinal game against Wales on Sunday.

Lesufi tweeted a photo earlier on Sunday showing the fan with the South African flag draped around his shoulders.

From the angle of the image, a section of the flag appeared to show the colours orange, white and blue. This led Lesufi to mistakenly assume that it was the apartheid flag.

He wrote, “That flag, unfortunately, is spoiling it! This team @Springboks belongs to all of us. Let’s avoid hurting each other unnecessarily. #StrongerTogether.”

‘Sincere apologies’

However, many of his followers pointed out that he had got it wrong. Some shared other photos and videos to prove that the fan had adorned the current South African flag.

A few hours later, Lesufi acknowledged his mistake and tweeted, “Sincere apologies fellow South Africans; the initial angle was completely wrong!

“Let’s celebrate the team’s win @Springboks. Forward with social cohesion. We are better together than divided! Apartheid flag divides South African flag unites! Slaan hulle die volgende week!”

He accompanied his apology with images that confirmed that he had indeed got it wrong.

Mzwandile Masina deletes tweet

Ekurhuleni Mayor Mzwandile Masina was apparently the first to tweet the image and express his “outrage.”

He wrote, “More reasons I have no business in supporting this team, which some supporters still carry old apartheid flag.

“Shame on this barbaric display of this apartheid flag when democracy has embraced all South Africans [sic].”

Masina has since deleted the image. Unlike Lesufi, however, he has not yet issued an apology.

The Springboks advanced to the final of the Rugby World Cup after defeating Wales 19-16.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has indicated that he will travel to Japan to support the team in the final against England on 2 November.

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