Sports and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula is currently under fire for doing away a whopping R700k to African Champions Sundowns.
On Wednesday, Minister Mbalula announced that the players would be receiving an appreciation cash of R700k to share among themselves following their landmark victory over Zamalek in the CAF.
No doubt, Sundowns made the country proud following their victory but many believe the government really crossed the appreciation line ‘by far’, considering its earlier claims that it had no money to sponsor higher education.
Following the announcement the social media was abuzz with criticism, debate, controversy and mixed feelings. Some slammed the minister for ruining his priorities while others lamented that the Zuma-led government is apparently missing it all.
A social media user said the money could have gone a long way in sponsoring the fees of many students. There were also suggestions that the R700k could have been spent on sports development in schools, procurement of soccer kits and boots for the township soccer teams or donated to poor students in universities or the#FeesMustFall campaign.
But Mabula in a response told his detractors to have a pew because the players really deserve the money. Lending weight to his assertion, he reminded them that Sundowns didn’t only represent themselves but South Africa, thus, they should be rewarded handsomely.
Mamelodi Sundowns arrived back home in South Africa to a heroes’ welcome after winning the African Champions League on Sunday. They were heartily welcomed and congratulated by thousands of football fans at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.
The big club is the second South African side to emerge victorious at the African champions after Orlando Pirates became the first in 1995.