Byon November 7, 2016
Javelin champion Sunette Viljoen (33) earned a silver medal for SA at this year’s Rio Games – but now the athlete says she’s not getting her due.
“Never have I uttered those words,” Sunette commented on her Twitter profile about a screen grab of a WhatsApp exchange between her and minister of sport and recreation Fikile Mbalula.
Never, ever uttered these words. This is how you are treated for winning an Olympic medal. What a total disgrace. Always doing it on my own. pic.twitter.com/NFmSIqzgyD
— Sunette Viljoen (@Sunette_Viljoen) November 7, 2016
In the screen grab Sunette asks the minister when she’ll be getting her R70 000 prize money for the Olympic Games.
He responds, saying: “You said you don’t need it?”
Read more: Outrage over Minister of Sport’s SMS to Olympic medalist Sunette Viljoen’s partner
“This is how you are treated for winning an Olympic medal. What a total disgrace. Always doing it on my own,” Viljoen elaborates.
Later, the minister tweeted: “@sunetteviljoen is the most arrogant and thankless person let alone being an athlete, I’ve ever met.”
@sunetteviljoen is the most arrogant and thankless person let alone being an athlete, I've ever met.
— RSA Min of Sport (@MbalulaFikile) November 7, 2016
When YOU approached Sunette and her partner Li-Mari Louw for comment they indicated that Sunette was feeling despondent and didn’t want to be interviewed.
Read more: Sunette Viljoen wins SA’s NINTH medal in Rio!
“She’s the only athlete complaining about it and we suspect she might be the only one who’s not getting paid,” Li-Marie said.
“She doesn’t want to talk about it anymore. It’s constant begging and pleading but nothing ever happens.
“She’d just like to be paid,” Li-Mari says.
The department of sport and recreation couldn’t be reached for comment.