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Sore losers? SABC slams #MMA16 vote rigging claims: Show us the proof

The SABC has laughed off speculation that the tallying of votes for the 16th annual Metro FM Music Awards was “incorrect” or “bought”

#MMA16 continues to trend on social media three days after the awards, as calls for an investigation into the voting system and winners grows louder.

Musicians flocked to Durban on Saturday night to attend what many have previously called the most prestigious music awards show in South Africa.

But the sentiment soon changed with not only fans but artists hitting out at the voting system.

The SABC isn’t really concerned it seems and insists that the rules were made clear from the start.

“Everybody could campaign and I still said at the launch that these are the rules and they can’t be changed at the end of the game,” said SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago.

He’s referring to the fact that one telephone number was limited to 500 SMS votes. One person could have many numbers but each number was limited, whereas in the SABC Summer Song of the Year competition the amount of votes per number was unlimited.

“The voting was audited by an external company and we were informed of the winners on the day, except for the Song of the Year category, which saw votes close on the night of the awards.”

It was this category that got the most backlash on Twitter after firm favourite Babes Wodumo’s song Wololo was scooped by Nasty C’s Hell Naw.

There have been concerns over the voting continuing on the night of the show. In 2009 M-Net’s Idols South Africa faced a massive blow to its credibility after the wrong winner was announced. Sasha Lee Davids was announced as the winner but after an investigation it was revealed that there was a “bottleneck” of SMS votes on the night that were not recieved. This changed who the winner was and Jason Hartman was announced as a co-winner.

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Insiders in the TV industry have told TshisaLIVE that counting live votes on the day is a risky business as networks can be unpredictable. The public broadcaster, however, remains unconcerned.

“That didn’t happen with this. There was no backlog,” said Kganyago.

There has also been talk of Mabala Noise, the music label that walked way away the most trophies, making a “donation” to the SABC prior to the awards.

Again, the public broadcaster has denied this.

“We are a state owned entity. We don’t receive donations. If anybody has proof of this they must come forward.”

Riky Rick slammed the awards and hinted at some tension between himself, his record label Mabala Noise and the Metro FM Awards after taking to the stage and slamming radio, calling on younger artists to put their music out on the internet.

“If niggaz can pay for these fucking awards then my nigga I dont want them,” Riky tweeted after the show. It’s a line from a song of his and during his acceptance speech he made reference to it.

The SABC is taking the backlash in its stride, questioning whether artists did enough to campaign for themselves ahead of the competition.

“Our only determining factor is the numbers. If they have proof that somebody didn’t follow the rules, they must come forward. Somebody did more work than them by making sure more people voted,” said Kganyago.

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