Our Answers To You
Over the last two weeks, Soccer Laduma has been attacked on social media and on radio by members of the Power FM radio station. With a clear agenda at play, the Power Sports team has tried to paint a picture that Soccer Laduma purposely fakes interviews and knowingly sells them to the public. We obviously want to answer these accusations but certain processes had to take place before we could. Now is the right time and place to respond to all the allegations…
Regarding the Itumeleng Khune interview:
• The Khune interview took place in July 2015.
• Khune’s personal marketing manager, Thato Matuka, contacted us to say that Khune claimed he had not done the interview.
• We immediately contacted the freelance journalist, who strongly denied the accusations and immediately offered sms/WhatsApp messages as proof of having done the Khune interview.
• This was then forwarded onto Mr Matuka, who acknowledged that obviously Khune and the freelancer had spoken and confirmed to Clint Roper that the matter was closed.
• Clint Roper then emailed Kaizer Chiefs to bring the matter to Kaizer Chiefs’ attention, which included the Thato Matuka reference.
• The following day, via email, Vina Maphosa himself acknowledged our response and thanked us for informing him.
• It should be noted that as soon as Soccer Laduma received a complaint, even though it was not directly from Chiefs, we acted with haste and brought it to Chiefs’ attention in good faith.
• One has to question why Maphosa brought this up again, when he had already acknowledged that the matter was sorted out.
• Clint then replied to his email and confirmed to him that Soccer Laduma has never been briefed on their protocol. Clint’s email also states that Kaizer Chiefs had a media workshop but that no invitation was extended to Soccer Laduma. His email also confirms that we would like to be informed of their processes and protocol. However, to this day, we have not received anything from Chiefs in this regard.
• Clint also regularly makes mention in his emails to Kaizer Chiefs, that the problem exists because of them dealing with freelancers and not directly with our full time journalists. This is the core of the problem. Chiefs chose to ignore this and continue to deal with freelancers. What makes it even stranger is that Chiefs know these freelancers and that they submit interviews to Soccer Laduma.
Regarding the Lucky Baloyi interview:
• The interview was done by the same freelance journalist in October 2015 and appeared in Soccer Laduma in November 2015.
• The freelance journalist who did the interview is well-connected at Kaizer Chiefs and previously worked for the Amakhosi magazine.
• The only time Soccer Laduma has received an official complaint from Kaizer Chiefs was over two months later via email, three minutes before Maphosa went on air on 5 February 2016.
• The Press Council only sent us an official complaint an hour and a half before Mr Maphosa went on air. They also informed him that we had seven days to reply and that he should not go on air.
• We immediately contacted the freelance journalist, who once again vehemently denied the accusation.
• He cited the previous example of Khune, when he was able to prove he was correct, and that the Baloyi interview, having taken place over two and a half months ago, denied him the right to prove his case with sms or WhatsApp messages.
• He volunteered and submitted a sworn affidavit that he did the interview. He also states in the affidavit that he has personal relationships with players, among them Lucky Baloyi. This has been forwarded to the Press Council.
• Freelance journalists are not paid unless they submit a tape of the interview to us. We do not listen to the tape unless there is a query from the club. The freelancer in question submitted a tape to us in order to get paid.
• There has never been a complaint about this recording until Friday 5 February. This was over two months after we gave Chiefs the tape. We have now addressed the matter in the only way left to us and it is now in the hands of the Press Council.
• Lucky Baloyi has also admitted that he has spoken to the freelancer on many occasions.
• It has been brought to our attention that Chiefs’ players who do interviews without permission from Maphosa are fined. In this instance, it is possible that neither the freelancer nor the player had received permission from Maphosa and that is why it has been denied.
• What is of extreme importance, and what Mr Maphosa has failed to inform the public, is how Chiefs got the recording. It was us, Soccer Laduma, who freely and without a formal request from Kaizer Chiefs made the recording available to them in November 2015.
• The freelancer, who does many Chiefs interviews for Soccer Laduma, told us that Chiefs had queried the Baloyi interview. We immediately made the recordings available to him to give to Kaizer Chiefs. It is therefore clear that we acted in good faith and in the interest of transparency by giving the recording to Chiefs via the freelancer.
• Why is this something that Maphosa has omitted, as it changes the situation completely?
• If we had anything to hide or fear, we would not have made the recording available.
• The question needs to be asked why Chiefs did not address the issue with us after they received the recording in November. Why wait over two months?
• If the issue had been raised in November and it was proved that there was wrongdoing on the part of the freelancer, we would have apologized without hesitation. Maphosa’s actions have now blown this completely out of proportion.
• Lastly, Maphosa’s claims of Kaizer Chiefs endeavoring to promote a formal relationship with Soccer Laduma and his inference that we have not followed the protocols and processes of Kaizer Chiefs are completely and utterly untrue.
• In this regard, we have a great deal of correspondence from Soccer Laduma to Kaizer Chiefs dating from 2012 to the present requesting a formal relationship with Kaizer Chiefs.
Regarding the other accusations:
• Tsepo Masilela interview – The freelancer has shown us WhatsApp conversations revealing Maphosa assisting him to facilitate interviews with numerous players since 2014.
• Mamelodi Sundowns – Sundowns has never lodged any formal complaints with Soccer Laduma or the Press Council.
• Daine Klate – Regarding the story on Fan Park on the SL site about his new car, as soon as Klate made his concerns known we removed the story and apologised to him immediately.
• Moeneeb Josephs – Klate stated that Josephs does not do interviews with us. This is not true as he spoke to us last year in 2015.
• Khama Billiat – The radio DJ tried to suggest the Billiat interview had not been conducted and had been lifted from the Sowetan newspaper. We have investigated this and it is simply untrue. The Sowetan interview is completely different to ours and we even have a journalist from a rival newspaper who witnessed the interview taking place. We will address this in writing with Sundowns.
• Bloemfontein Celtic – Khumbulani Konco made claims that Soccer Laduma tries to destabilise clubs. What he is really saying is that we publish Siyagobhoza stories about players leaving his club which he doesn’t want the public knowing about. For example, it was insinuated on their website that lies were told about Camaldine Abraw not signing for Celtic. Abraw, who is now at Chiefs, has proven the original Siyagobhoza correct.
I am happy to appear on any platform except Power FM and Capricorn to discuss this matter in more detail if any radio station wishes. I am also happy to take calls from any of our readers to discuss the situation. Just remember, there are over 3 million of you!