CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - JANUARY 19: Fuad Salami of Nigeria goes down as Moeneeb Josephs of South Africa fouls him in the penalty area during the 2014 African Nations Championship match between South Africa and Nigeria at Cape Town Stadium on January 19, 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Shaun Roy/Gallo Images)

Cape Town – I woke up in a pool of sweat last night.

It wasn’t because it was still 30 degrees at 10pm, because even the mosquitoes have been wiping their brows over the last few days in Paarl.

It was because I had a bad dream. In fact it was probably the worst nightmare I have ever had, other than the time I dreamt that there was no more beer available in the world ...

Last night I dreamt that I was married to Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula.

It was terrible.

Firstly I was called a “loser” after I forgot to pick up the Cape Times with his morning coffee, and then I was called “totally useless” after I burnt his toast and overcooked his eggs.

It went on for the whole dream, and luckily my wife woke me up before the minister and I entered his bedroom. Phew ...

I’m sure the minister doesn’t behave like that at home. I’m sure he has never called his wife a “loser” and that she is not “totally useless” when it comes to issues in the kitchen. Actually, I would be surprised if Mrs Minister is not an excellent cook.

But Mbalula had a lot of tongues wagging this week after his attack on Bafana Bafana. Some people welcomed the roasting of the national team, while others cringed after every word that came out of his mouth.

Some people say the minister had said what most of the country has felt about Bafana over the last few years. Having watched the national team perform since the Confederations Cup in 2009, I must admit that some of those words have made it into the odd match report from time to time.

Let’s face it, the performance of Gordon Igesund’s team at the African Nations Championship was pretty mediocre. And this came from players who still demanded bigger bonuses before the start of the tournament.

Mbalula, who is brash and quite outspoken at the best of times, probably didn’t need any invitation to put Bafana away when he entered a press room that for the first time was filled to capacity with journalists and cameramen.

Nobody really knows if Mbalula’s attack was out of frustration or if it was a planned move to attack the players for their lacklustre display. In the end, everybody got the message loud and clear. Especially Moeneeb Josephs, whom the minister singled out.

I thought that was a bit low-class and tasteless, even worse than his public outburst. Football is a team sport, and to single out Josephs was wrong and disrespectful on so many levels.

Josephs is one of the few characters in the South African game, a player who leaves everything out on the football field for club and country – sometimes even his teeth!

Mbulala has not apologised for his outburst, which is fair enough because of the man he is. But he does need to phone Josephs and say sorry, otherwise it’s the minister who will be viewed as the loser.


@GaryLineker (the former England striker loves a bit of sarcasm): Manchester United have reportedly agreed a fee of £37m with Chelsea for Juan Mata. Can’t see why they need him, personally.


@iant838 (Ian Taylor): Ajax Cape Town’s interim coach has got his work cut out for him over the next few weeks.

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