The SAMAs were once again marred by controversy this past weekend after a glaring error in the winner’s list sparked suspicions of foul play.
You may have noticed that Sunday papers across the country ran with news that songstress Amanda Black walked away with four awards at the ceremony when she had in fact won only three.
The error came when she was listed as having won the Album of the Year award, which Kwesta actually won at the awards ceremony.
The initial winner’s list, which was sent out to numerous publications stated that Kwesta and Amanda tied at the awards taking home four awards each. This was incorrect as Kwesta did a clean sweep scooping six gongs.
Even though a corrected list was sent out to media the debacle raised a string of questions over foul play.
Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA) CEO Nhlanhla Sibisi denied that there was anything sinister about the change and put it down to human error.
“I have spoken to my team and I am very disappointed. It seems that an earlier copy of the list was sent out before it was checked. Amanda was assumed to have won but on closer inspection we found that Kwesta had more votes and actually won the category. The blame lies at RiSA’s door and we accept full responsibility for the error,” Nhlanhla said.
He added that the mistake was not helped by the fact that the margin of victory was extremely small. Nhlanhla would not be drawn into revealing the exact numbers but it was apparently a close call.
“The numbers were very close,” he explained.
He said that the event’s judges spent a lot of time deciding on the category but denied that they were influenced in anyway.
“We have had issues before where judging patterns have raised suspicion and we have had to discount votes but that was not the case this year,” Nhlanhla said.
He promised to investigate all of the concerns raised about the event and will hold a workshop with judges in a few months’ time to address any concerns.