South African Athletics

Viljoen, Mbalula in extraordinary Twitter war of words

2016-11-07 11:48
Sunette Viljoen (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Rio Olympics medallist Sunette Viljoen wants Minister of Sport and Recreation, Fikile Mbalula, not to make promises he can't keep and pay her the R70 000 bonus she's owed.

Viljoen received R200 000 for her silver medal at the Rio Games - as promised by the incentive scheme laid out prior to the Games by SASCOC.

Returning to South Africa from Rio, Mbalula promised an extra monetary bonus, with gold medal winners to receive R100 000, silver medallists an additional R70 000 and bronze winners R50 000.

Last month, Viljoen responded on Twitter that she was still waiting on her bonus payment promised by Mbalula - more than two months after her 64.92m second-place finish throw.

Viljoen has been critical of the minister and SASCOC in the past, claiming she was not paid since February this year despite being part of SASCOC's Operation Excellence (OPEX).

Mbalula reacted to the javelin thrower's comments by saying that she "complains too much" and has a "lots of negative energy".

On Monday, Viljoen tweeted a screen grab of a conversation she had with Mbalula.

In the message, the Viljoen asks Mbalula to pay her the money, as she “really needs it".

Mbalula promptly responded, writing: “You said you don’t need it. So I stick with your wishes.”

Outraged by his response, she said that she “never ever” uttered those words, adding “This is how you are treated for winning an Olympic medal. What a total disgrace. Always doing it on my own.

Any further interviews will not help me in any way. Just pay us what you promised. That's all. Don't make a promise you can't keep.


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