Sunette Viljoen (Getty Images)
Cape Town - Sports minister Fikile Mbalula says javelin thrower Sunette Viljoen "complains too much" and has a "lots of negative energy".
READ: Viljoen won't stop fighting for SA athletes
Mbalula was reacting after Viljoen had taken to Twitter to express her dissatisfaction with the way sport is run in South Africa.
She criticised Mbalula’s promises of more money for Olympic medallists and Gideon Sam, president of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), also copped flak.
Viljoen, who won a javelin silver medal at the Rio Olympic Games, took a swipe at Mbalula and Sam regarding the bonus money that was promised to this year’s Olympic medal winners.
Viljoen is set to pocket R200 000 for her silver medal, and Mbalula on Tuesday that silver medallists would receive an additional R70 000.
Viljoen also reacted to claims by Sam that “he promised 10 medals and he delivered”.
Viljoen, who has been quite vocal about the lack of support for South Africa’s athletes, added:
According to Viljoen, Mbalula blocked her on Twitter “a long time ago”.
Mbalula did not respond to Viljoen’s tweets but told City Press that Viljoen “complains all the time (and has) a lot 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.
Mbalula added that Viljoen insulted everyone including SASCOC.
He said he had always given Viljoen her just rewards for her excellence.
“In less than a week watch the space. She’ll be demanding the incentives. She’s abusing us a lot,” Mbalula said.
Viljoen didn’t arrive back with the rest of the athletes on Tuesday, because she has headed to Lausanne, Switzerland, where she will compete in the Diamond League on Thursday.