- Published on 14 January 2016
SABC Sport is headed for major changes in the coming weeks and Monday night highlights show Soccerzone is set to become the biggest casualty.
SoccerZone is said to be haemorrhaging viewers at an alarming rate and the public broadcaster is planning to pull the plug as the show does not generate much income.
Insiders say the magazine show will be replaced by a 30-minute highlights show that will dispense with presenters entirely, leaving current hosts Thomas Mlambo and Minnie Dlamini on the sidelines.
"The new show is apparently going to be at 10pm on Mondays and will not have a presenter. The review show will have highlights from the weekend matches. That's the way forward for now, but things change," the insider said.
The insider said a meeting was held on Tuesday and staff were informed that the once-popular football show is in its last month.
"The story is Thomas and Minnie Dlamini have failed in terms of improving viewership, but to be fair things have never been the same since Robert Marawa left the show [in 2006]. They have tried Walter Mokoena, Tshepo Mabona and even Kwena Moabelo. Things have never been the same since Robert left and when they hired Thomas, they thought he could steady the whole thing but even his arrival did little to change things around. Even the introduction of Minnie didn't help, because she doesn't know anything about football," the source continued.
SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago insisted that changes don't only affect SABC Sport, but their entire television offering and there was no final decision on any of their shows.
Part of the changes will see the introduction of a talk show on Tuesday night while Soccer 411 will move from 2pm on Saturdays to Thursday nights.
The widely popular Sport @10, hosted by Mlambo, will remain in its current slot on Wednesday nights. All sport shows will now start at 10pm.
Early last year Minnie Dlamini was culturally re-introduced to her community as a woman of virtue at her KwaZulu-Natal home recently. She underwent 'umhlonyane' a traditional Zulu ceremony to celebrate her womanhood and to proclaim that she had looked after herself well and had not had a child out of wedlock.
The TV presenter was blasted by her critics who said uMhlonyane is done for a young virgin girl when she reaches puberty, to teach and advise her about womanhood and what Minnie's family did was actually supposed to be uMemulo.
While Minnie could not confirm if she was still a virgin, she however defended her 'Umhlonyane' ritual.
Since then, some media quarters have been referring to her as Minnie the "virgin".