Other Sport

Graeme Joffe flees South Africa

2015-07-17 09:44
Graeme Joffe (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Former TV and radio sports presenter - and Sport24 columnist - Graeme Joffe fled South Africa three months ago.

Writing on his Sportsfire Daily blog on Friday, Joffe spoke of how his life in South Africa changed forever following a late-night phone call earlier this year.

'I was about to go to sleep in my apartment in Grahamstown. My phone was on silent, but after three calls in quick succession, something told me to answer it. Just as well I did. The call was from an acquaintance, who said: “Graeme, they’re coming to get you, get to a place of safety, don’t go to any public places, get out of your apartment. Call me if you need any help”', Joffe wrote.

Without hesitation, Joffe packed an overnight bag, drove to a friend's house and soon thereafter abandoned the car and removed the SIM card and battery from his cellphone.

Mere days later Joffe arrived in the USA, a country in which he had previously spent seven years as an International Sports Anchor with CNN in Atlanta.

After returning to South Africa, Joffe's career path took a turn to that of an investigative sports journalist in 2012, in the mould of David Walsh who spent 10 years bringing down seven-time Tour de France winner, Lance Armstrong, and Andrew Jennings who has recently been vindicated after seven years with his expose on FIFA.

'Athletes, coaches and administrators started to confide in me in what had become the corrupt and sickly state of South African sport,' Joffe wrote.

'Abusive and threatening messages from the Department of Sport and Recreation' followed and in 2013, the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) slapped a R21.1 million defamation lawsuit on Joffe to 'try and bully and silence me'.

Despite being blacklisted for three years and enduring three of the toughest months of his life, Joffe has 'no regrets in doing his job'.

Click HERE to read Graeme Joffe's full Sportsfire Daily article

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