For the first time in 10 years, it was refreshing witnessing SPAR gsport Awards receiving a well-deserved attention from media, sponsors and the public.

Having attracted Minister of Sport and Recreation Fikile Mbalula and earning a TV broadcasting slot on SABC (South African Broadcasting Cooperation), it was not surprising to see the ten-year-old event trending on social network: Twitter.

This year the organizers – led by Kass Naidoo, editor and founder of gsports Awards – introduced public voting system, ‘to ensure integrity was maintained as competition remained fierce among finalists’.

What an appealing idea to involve the public, a movement which sport followers supported and kept voting for their favourites until the last minute. But, sadly, not everyone was celebrating with all the winners.

Some unhappy voters – who felt their votes did not ‘mean anything’ or influence the results – took their frustration on Twitter and demanded answers from Naidoo.

  • Umar Farouk Mathir @UMAR_FAROUK7 

@Nealcol DYK @Thandi_399 of @Orlando_Pirates Got more votes than Jessica Mo(o)taung of @Kaizer_Chiefs in their catergory @gsport4girls ?

  •  Umar Farouk Mathir @UMAR_FAROUK7

@kassnaidoo @cliffordsm @gsport4girls So Don’t expect people like me to vote in your BIASED system, I was expecting this kind of crap….

  •  Clifford Mukondeleli @cliffordsm 

@kassnaidoo @gsport4girls Is it democratically fair when a person with less than 100 votes winning over a person with over 650 votes?

  •  Clifford Mukondeleli @cliffordsm – 

@gsport4girls @JVWGirlsFootbal  I am no longer voting for anything that has to do with gsopts4girls. Votes doesn’t mean anything to them.

Traditionally, one may argue that nominees with fewer votes are not supposed to win. For instance, when one looks at the Women in Media (Radio) category’s voting results (below), EWN Sports Editor Cindy Poluta received the lowest votes; therefore, if it was up to the public, she was miles away from winning this title.

  1. Thina Ramantswana (69%, 641 Votes)
  2. Rachel Makhura (26%, 238 Votes)
  3. Cindy Poluta (5%, 51 Votes)

In her defence, Naidoo, who has just returned to radio after 7 years, said the second judging phase of the gsport Awards included the Public Vote to the five-member judging panel, to make up a panel of six votes.

When pressed for more clarification, the radio 2000 FM sports presenter’s response further exposed the discomfort the newly-born system had created. ‘The judges voted at the same time as the public’, she tweeted.

However, in a statement released just after the voting closed, she said: “Now that the public have had their say, the judges will decide the final winners across the various categories. Good luck to all the finalists.”

The question that Naidoo should be honest with the public, who invested time and data bundles supporting her movement, is: did the judges vote at the same time as the public or after the votes were closed?

Furthermore, how come some people were still voting on Sunday, two days after the official closing date?

Image credit: Twitter (Minister of Sport and Recreation Fikile Mbalula and Gsport Awards founder Kass Naidoo) 

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