Revisiting Robert Marawa vs Fikile Mbalula’s Beef

Robert Marawa and Fikile Mbalula‘s beef dates back to November 2016, when the minister failed to appear on Marawa’s Metro FM show after accepting his invitation. In recent years, the two public figures have been engrossed in a fierce war of words on Twitter.

Of course, the South African Minister of Transport is no stranger to Twitter clap backs, and Robert Marawa seems to be one of his latest Twitter war (Twar) opponents. Despite the two celebrities getting reconciled in 2017, their truce never lasted. With their last Twitter war taking place in November 2021, it appears Robert and Fikile Mbalula has finally buried the hatchet.

What Caused the Beef Between Robert Marawa and Fikile Mbalula?

In November 2016, when Fikile Mbalula was serving as the Minister of Sport, Robert invited him to be a guest on Metro FM, but he didn’t show up after accepting to be on his show. Afterward, the minister lamented that the sportscaster talked about him negatively on the show. Then on February 28th, 2017, a heated exchange of words ensued between the prominent figures on Twitter following a tweet shared by Minanwa Ntloko, authorised by the Sports Minister.

The Sports Editor of the Times Media Group Digital, Mninawa Ntloko, tweeted that Durban might fail in its bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games due to financial challenges. A few minutes after the post was made, Robert Marawa commented and said that he knew that such a thing would happen as the country’s sports department was busy acting like Tarzan.

Marawa’s comment marked the beginning of his virtual beef with Fikile Mbalula, who didn’t take the comment lightly. The minister immediately hit back at the sports reporter, asking him to go and study the facts to get the report and shouldn’t be vindictive.

He also tweeted to Marawa, “Your gripe be honest you never believed in us hosting the Commonwealth games.” Robert Marawa was charged up by the minister’s comment, and he clapped back as usual.

He tweeted, ‘I have no “gripe” FYI. I have a different opinion, different to you trying to get me fired from Metro FM, that’s a gripe’. Fikile Mbalula replied to him, saying that if not for him, who defended Robert Marawa to the powers that be at the SABC, he should have been fired a long time ago. The radio sportscaster blocked the minister after the verbal altercation.

Later on, Fikile Mbalula explained that he had nothing against Robert Marawa. And that he never tried to sabotage his work at Metro FM. He admitted to writing a letter to Metro FM regarding Marawa on how he was attacking him on his show, Room Dividers. And the radio station responded, saying that he had a right to respond.

Fikile Mbalula moved on to claim that he has always defended Robert while serving as the ANC Youth League President and as the Minister of Sport too.

Who Settled the Beef Between Robert Marawa and Fikile Mbalula?

Two months after going head to head on Twitter, Robert Marawa and Fikile Mbalula asserted that they were friends and not enemies. This happened after veteran musician DJ Oskido, who is a close friend of both men, organized a meeting between them to talk things out. Robert and Fikile reconciled afterward, shook hands, and hugged one another.

Meanwhile, before the reconciliation, Fikile Mbalula, who was then the Police Minister, had instructed his lawyers to file a lawsuit against Robert Marawa for allegedly ignoring his letter of demand to apologize for claiming that he wanted him sacked by the SABC. After getting back on good terms in April 2017, Robert and Fikile went back to the friendship zone and let go of their disagreements.

However, the peace didn’t last long, as they started beefing each other on Twitter again. It was assumed that the two prominent men don’t always see eye to eye.

The Two Public Figures Faced Each Other Again in February 2019

Fikile Mbalula and Robert Marawa resurrected their years back beef following their disagreement over EFF’s marketing strategy in February 2019. This time around, the Twar was two vs. one, as EFF’s leader, Julius Malema, took a shot at Fikile Mbalula, asking him to stop embarrassing himself.

The Twitter war was initiated by Fikile, who made a sarcastic comment on Robert Marawa’s post about the EFF flying a helicopter across the FNB stadium with a banner that read, ‘Vote for EFF’.

He captioned the post, ‘Air traffic controllers will await the arrival of other parties!! The caption got on Mbalula’s nerves, and he was quick to defend his party, the African National Congress by asserting that ANC wouldn’t fly over the FNB stadium. He also accused the extraordinaire sportscaster of promoting EFF.

Not letting the accusation slide, Robert Marawa responded by questioning the minister on why he never reacted when he lauded intelligent, progressive leaders like Panyaza Lesufi and Buti Manamela. With Fikile still bent on throwing jabs at the former SuperSport reporter, he then gave him a final blow by asking him to check into an anger management facility.

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Fikile Mbalula and Robert Marawa’s Surprising Bromance

A few months after getting on each other’s nerves online, Fikile Mbalula and Robert Marawa turned into good friends again. The two attended the SONA address in mid-2019. Robert, who was working as a reporter at the event, interviewed Fikile Mbalula regarding his new position as the Minister of Transport. Soon after, they switched topics to #DataMustFall, and the affection between them was heartwarming.

At one point, Fikile referred to the media personality as ‘Robbie’. They shared jokes during the one-on-one segment and looked at each other with deep affection. With both men in a happier place, chatting casually, no one would believe that they had ever beefed with each other. Additionally, in July 2019, when Robert Marawa launched his own online TV channel on YouTube, Fikile Mbalula showed him unexpected support.

The transport minister said that his department would advertise on Marawa’s online TV channel. His comment garnered mixed reactions as some people questioned how he could determine where to place an advert for the department without using a fair procurement procedure.

The minister was quick to respond that there was nothing wrong with supporting black talent. He further encouraged Robert Marawa to broaden his horizon as he has what it takes.

In Early 2021, Fikile Mbalula Incited another Verbal Altercation with Robert Marawa

When everyone thought that the beef between Fikile Mbalula and Robert Marawa was finally over, the two prominent figures proved them wrong by declaring another Twitter war in March 2021. They seemed not to have had enough of each other’s sarcasm. The spicy exchange between them started when Robert Marawa shared a video of people protesting in Paraguay against corruption and the manner their government handled the COVID-19 crisis in the country.

Though Mbalula didn’t take offense at the video, it was Robert’s caption, “Hint Hint,” that got him in a Twar mood. He asked the sports presenter whether the South African government was not doing enough to fight corruption. And his long-time Twitter war opponent gave him a shady response, in quote, “wasn’t aware that alongside Gbeberha, SA had also changed its name to Hint-Hint.”

The minister laughed off Robert’s comment and then moved on to urge South Africans who think that the government wasn’t handling corruption convincingly to hold the government accountable.

2021 End-of-the-Year Beefing

If you think that the Twitter war between Robert Marawa and Fikile Mbalula was over, not too soon! With the year approaching an end, Fikile and Robert decided to give Twitter users an end-of-the-year entertainment package as they engaged in another verbal exchange. In November 2021, the transport minister threw a jab at Robert Marawa through his comment on a clip of the sports broadcaster in a studio shared by Sowetan.

His comment read, “SABC; they dealt with Robert. Mxm, let me keep quiet.” Marawa took the comment head-on and asked Mbalula who had dealt with him. Afterward, some Tweeps said that Marawa misread the minister’s message as they assumed that he was just being sarcastic. Nevertheless, they cracked up at the sports journalist’s clap back.

As both Fikile Mbalula and Robert Marawa have steered clear of each other’s Twitter timelines for over a year now, it is believed that they are done with beefing and have finally ended the Twitter war. And hopefully, they won’t incite another virtual fight in the future.

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