The cheesecake debacle – Elite sportsmen often behave like the rules don’t apply to them

Sonia Booth blew up Twitter this week, in a way that the Real Housewives or (anywhere in Mzansi) and Footballer’s Wives could only have dreamt of. Apparently, her husband Matthew, the former Bafana Bafana centre back turned TV commentator, has been playing offsides.

In 1697, British playwright William Congreve gifted the world the immoral lines: Heaven hath no rage, like love to hatred, nor hell a fury like a woman scorned. Booth’s about to put that to test after Sonia revealed her sleuthing on social media: digital receipts to geolocations of him and his lover up and down the country in her car – and in her house. 

And don’t forget the Tupperware, which she retrieved after telling the cuckolded husband of her husband’s lover what had been going on under his nose. At least the husband enjoyed the soccer player’s cheesecake. Then she left the Tupperware in Matthew’s parking bay in their garage. Like all great cliff hanger soapies and Verimark ads, that’s not all: Sonia then accused Booth of dipping into their kids’ education funds to pay for his dalliance, to put off the side-chick from digging for gold.

Elite sportsmen often behave as if the rules don’t apply to them. There’s a cycle to it: the anger, the denial and then the tearful admissions. Elton Jantjes, who took his cheat day literally to start shagging the Springboks’ dietician, did it this week. He confessed all, as he jetted off to Cyprus to fix his marriage and from there, reboot his career. 

Far too many powerful individuals though deny it for all their worth – and even change the narrative in the process. Bell Pottinger’s White Monopoly Capital was designed as a distraction away from Jacob Zuma’s kleptocracy and his Gupta benefactors, but uBaba is a mean gaslighter all by himself.

Last weekend, he was on his soapbox pointing fingers. Cyril the Meek, he said, was a charlatan and a rogue; Ramaphosa had bought his way to the presidency at Nasrec five years ago. What the Nkandla crooner isn’t saying is that the CR17 camp probably just gazumped the NDZ camp. They can’t get over that – the fact there’s no loyalty among party delegates.

Despite all the evidence, the Father of the Nation (in more ways than one) – in even better health than his old co-accused and fellow medical parolee Schabir Shaik – wants the (RET) world to believe that there was nothing untoward during his tenure despite the billion rand commission of inquiry that he himself appointed which found to the contrary in three detail-packed volumes.

You can do that in politics, because there aren’t really referees. Elections don’t have the same effect as VAR or TMOs. Sonia Booth though has provided enough kyk weers this week to stop any potential spousal gaslighting in its tracks. It’s straight out of the Rassie Erasmus social media management playbook. 

Playing offsides – and being pinged offside – is one thing; abusing the spousal Tupperware, and baking a cheesecake, are something else altogether.

Booth’s briefed his lawyers and wants to go Stalingrad, but right now, Sonia is ahead on penalties.

Originally published by the Saturday Star on 12 November 2022.