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Graeme Joffe backs Viljoen in SASCOC spat

2016-08-24 13:05
Graeme Joffe (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Former TV and radio sports presenter Graeme Joffe has backed Rio Olympics silver medallist Sunette Viljoen in her fight for the best interests of her fellow athletes.

Speaking after winning a silver medal in the javelin in Brazil, Viljoen said she would never slow down in her quest to ensure that South Africa's athletes get what they deserve. 

"I'm a firm believer in standing up for what you believe in," Viljoen said.

"I won't change ... I will do what is right and I will keep fighting (for the athletes) and to get the best for the athletes."

Viljoen is a part of SASCOC's Operation Excellence (OPEX) programme, but according to reports has not been paid since February this year. 

SASCOC president Gideon Sam has denied those claims, but it's clear the war of words between Viljoen and SASCOC is far from over. 

Having received R200 000 for her Olympic success, Viljoen and the other Team South Africa silver medallists received a "bonus" as they arrived back in the country when Minster of Sport and Recreation Fikile Mbalula announced they would be receiving an additional R70 000 each. 

Viljoen, though, was doubtful as she took to Twitter to voice her concerns.

Mbalula hit back saying Viljoen "complains too much" and has a "lots of negative energy".

“I prefer to ignore her tweets. Despite everything, she will always bring a negative spin to it. Go check her track record. I even 'twared' with her sometime back. It is not worth it, honestly,” said Mbalula.

According to Viljoen, Mbalula blocked her on Twitter “a long time ago”.

Viljoen didn’t arrive back with the rest of the Team SA athletes on Tuesday, as she headed to Lausanne, Switzerland, where she will compete in a Diamond League meet on Thursday.

Joffe, in his role as an investigative sports journalist, has been vocal in attempting to expose the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) on a number of issues.

In 2013, SASCOC slapped a R21.1 million defamation lawsuit on Joffe to 'try and bully and silence me'.

In early 2015, Joffe fled the country after a tip-off his life could be in danger.

Joffe took to Twitter this week to pays his respect to Viljoen for "standing up for what is right".

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