Not content with almost single-handedly running the once-mighty Golden Lions Rugby Union into the ground over the last three years, CEO Manie Reynecke has reached a new low in effectively cutting off one of the most-respected and longest-running fan websites on the flimsiest of pretexts.
Regular visitors to this site will know all about Walter Language’s LionsWorld site, formerly known as Transvaal.co.za, a site that has been up-and-running since 1996, virtually pre-dating the Internet itself in South Africa. Walter is perhaps the most passionate and dedicated Lions supporter of them all and has spent what must seem like a lifetime giving his all in support of his team. He has built up a loyal following and is a respected commentator and source of information – in fact, an institution of Lions rugby, if ever there was such a thing.
All of that counted for nothing today, though, as Reynecke saw fit to revoke LionsWorld’s media accreditation, on the basis that somebody posted a comment on the site deemed critical of the CEO. Clearly Reynecke doesn’t believe in a free press, despite what the constitution says and on the eve of Freedom Day, I find it disturbing in the extreme that the worst CEO in the world should be allowed to get away with pulling a stunt like this. Making matters even worse, he didn’t even have the balls to contact Walter himself, but rather left the unpleasant task to his lovely media liaison instead.
Here’s the real irony, though – exactly the same comment that saw LionsWorld lose their accreditation appeared on the Lions official website as well! It came from (yet another) disgruntled fan who, sick and tired of years of non-performance and maladministration, suggested a petition to unseat Reynecke and his red dri-mac from the job that he seems incapable of doing justice. The question that begs asking is this: if Reynecke is so determined to stamp out any criticism of the piss-poor job that he’s doing, what is he going to do about his own official website? Shut that one down as well? We wait with baited breath…
On a personal note, I’d like to wish Walter all the best. I know a kindred spirit when I see one and even though we support different teams, I can only imagine what he must be going through right now. The wheel will turn, though and tyrants tend to get their just desserts in the end.Tweet