Christmas came early for South Africa’s Olympians who brought home medals from Rio de Janeiro, thanks to ‘Minister Razzmatazz’.
Team SA arrived home to great fanfare at the OR Tambo International Airport in Joburg yesterday.
Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula was so impressed with his mense that he announced medal holders will get an added cash bonus on top of their incentive.
SA bagged 10 medals at the Rio Olympics.
Gold medallists get R500 000, silver get R250 000, and bronze gets R100 000 from the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).
But Mbalula announced: “Today when I woke up I was so happy‚ I decided to increase [the prize money].”
And the biggest winner is World Record holder Wayde Van Niekerk, who bagged gold for the men’s 400m final.
Mbalula announced: “For Wayde van Niekerk‚ on top of the R500 000 for breaking the world record [he’ll get an extra] R150 000.”
“Razzmatazz‚ Mr Christmas is here‚” Mbalula shouted to the crowd.
Gold medallist Caster Semenya‚ “for showing them flames”‚ gets an extra R100 000.
The athlete was criticised for her perceived advantage over female athletes due to her high testosterone levels.
Mbalula also had good news for others like swimmer Chad Le Clos, who won two silver medals, and javelin thrower Sunette Viljoen who clinched silver.
“For the rest, silver get R70 000 each‚ bronze get R50 000 increase.”
Minister Money Bags was not impressed when journalists asked him where the extra cash was coming from.
An irritated Mbalula said: “This came from the budget of the sports [department]. I did not get it from some spaza shop or anywhere.”
Wayde and Sunette were absent, already in Paris to compete at the Diamond League athletics tournament.
Sunette threw shade on Twitter when The Star reporter @rachysuperstar tweeted: “SASCOC president Gideon Sam says he promised 10 medals and he delivered.”
Sunette replied: “HE delivered? What did he deliver? If only the truth was known.”
She retweeted @yebocan’s tweet: “of course he delivered...delivered those eye killing tracksuits ..what has been seen can not be unseen!”