NUMSA wishes the Springboks well

Unions says rugby not far apart from the society it wants to build


1 September 2011

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) joins the people of South Africa, the loving nation of our revolutionary icon Nelson Mandela, the democratic and fighting nation of our revolutionary martyr Chris Hani, the sport frenzy nation of our revolutionary heroine Francis Baard, in wishing our rugby national team - the Springboks - well as they begin the long and thunderous journey in defence of their Webb Ellis trophy on the foreign soils of New Zealand.

We call on our Springboks under the leadership and captain marvelous John Smit to fly the South African flag in honour of our gallant fighters who fought for a non-racial sport and an end to the most heinous and evil apartheid system in our country. It was that generation of gallant fighters that made sure that apartheid South Africa was isolated from international sport bodies until a new and democratically elected government of the people in South Africa was installed. It was not surprising when in 1995, immediately after our democratic breakthrough of 1994; our Springboks were crowned Webb Ellis cup holders in a free and liberated South Africa.

The metalworkers are proud fans of rugby, since rugby is not far apart from the society we envisage to build that is free from greed, barbarism and selfishness. We see rugby as an ally in our endeavours to sharpen class consciousness geared towards mobilising workers, unemployed, youth and rural peasantry behind the vision of building a Socialist South Africa, since rugby promotes sharing and communalism which are key pillars of Socialism.

This Rugby World Cup comes at a very crucial time whereby peace and sovereignty of other countries of the underdeveloped world, especially in Africa and Latin America are being threatened or bombarded with military aggression by the powerful and blood-thirsty countries, such as the United State and its NATO allies. This World Cup should serve as a pilgrimage to reject military attacks or cowboy tactics of imposing regime changes in independent and sovereign states in Africa and elsewhere in the world. The sport, including rugby remains a powerful instrument or tool to promote solidarity, peace and unity amongst the people of the world, especially amongst the downtrodden and most scared in society.

We call on OUR Springboks and the South Africa Rugby Union (SARU) to use this world cup period to spread a message to the people of the world, that the country of Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo, Chris Hani, Beyers Naude, Albertina Sisulu, Ruth First and Lilian Ngoyi are opposed to the military intervention and mass slaughter of innocent civilians in Libya. It's the Libyans that are suffering already as a result of the heinous attacks of her people. These Rugby World Cup scheduled to begin in New Zealand is a deserving platform for sport personalities, supporters, administrators and everybody else to make a call to end the killings in Libya as perpetuated by US imperialism and greed.

Lastly, to our Springboks that defied nature by taking a human form, do the country proud by bringing back the Webb Ellis trophy to where it belongs, so that we can continue to consolidate the building of a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and just South Africa.

Do it for Nelson Mandela - Go Bokke Go!

Statement issued by Castro Ngobese, NUMSA national spokesperson, September 1 2011

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