Cosatu’s racist rugby ignorance

Dr Pieter Mulder

With the rugby world cup less than two months away and the Springbok’s who came last in the recent rugby championship, it smacks of ignorance to allege that Heyneke Meyer and the Springbok management will not want to make use of the best possible players, whether black or white.

Cosatu’s rugby ignorance is seen in their racist comments that weak white players are chosen above good black players for inclusion in the Springbok team. The knowledgeable rugby public, who want to win at any cost, would have reacted angrily a long time ago if a brilliant black player had been excluded from the team as a result of politics. In addition, South Africa will run the risk of breaching international sport codes and being punished for it, if it was to appear that political interference and not merit had played a role in the selection of South African sport teams.

Black players, who have reached the highest sport in rugby by being selected for the Springbok team, have indicated that they do not want to be branded as quota players.

If Cosatu would like to make a contribution to the development of black rugby talent, they should go to the numerous, mostly black schools, where rugby isn’t offered as an activity. Successful black players on a Springbok and provincial level mostly come from former model C schools which is currently the most integrated schools in the country. More successful black players have to be pushed ahead from the bottom up and cannot be forced politically from above to play in international teams.

To give credibility to their argument Cosatu should release the names of the so-called five black Springboks who had approached them (Cosatu) about the alleged discrimination. That would put the rugby public in a position to determine whether there is any merit in Cosatu’s allegations.

From Cosatu’s racist rugby media release it is clear that only an “all black” South African team against the All Blacks from New Zeeland would satisfy them. Such an approach is to the detriment of merit in sport and is internationally, as well as for the majority of South African sport lovers, totally unacceptable.


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