Report to be submitted to international sporting bodies - Solidarity

'Transformation in SA sport' documents political interference

Solidarity, AfriForum approaches international sporting bodies to stop political interference in sport

4 July 2017 

Solidarity and AfriForum will submit its report Transformation in SA Sport: Scoreboard not in Government favour to five international sporting bodies in the coming month. The report focuses on political interference in South African sport. This follows after the trade union and civil rights watchdog came into possession of information pertaining to its pursuit of a racially-based quota system in South African sport.

The organisations will visit World Rugby, the International Cricket Council, the International Netball Federation, the International Olympic Committee and the International Association of Athletics Federations. During its visit, Solidarity and AfriForum will show in detail how the relevant South African sporting bodies acted contrary the international rules and regulations of the applicable sport disciplines.

“Political interference in sport is in direct conflict with the rules and regulations of the international sporting bodies who will be visited. Under the previous regime, the ANC argued that merits alone should be the criterion, and now they don’t follow their own opinion,” says Henk Maree, AfriForum’s Spokesperson.

Maree also says that South African politicians’ interference in sport is only a way to obtain cheap exposure to promote their own agendas. “The only way in which politicians can contribute sustainably to sport is by focusing on the responsible utilisation of funds to help develop young athletic talent – regardless their race.”

“Although it is shocking that Government enforces such severe racial quotas, it comes as no surprise. Local race legislation and international agreements are but lip service to Government,” says Anton van der Bijl, Head of Solidarity’s Centre for Fair Labour Practices.

According to Van der Bijl, Government’s racial ideology has been evident for a long time and the party can no longer hide their racially-motivated intentions. “The Court should condemn Government’s denial of opportunities to excellent sportspeople as a result of its illegal racial quotas,” he adds.

Connie Mulder, Head of the Solidarity Research Institute, says that their research indicates that systems are not prejudiced. “The only way to get more black Springboks is to get more black boys to play rugby – there is no short cut. We have to move towards a sports environment where excellence reigns supreme; an environment where the scoreboard is more important than the team photo.”

The public is encouraged to show they support by adding their name to the complaint to be submitted by sending their names per SMS to 45113 (R1).

Statement issued by Connie Mulder, Head: Solidarity Research Institute, 4 July 2017