Oscar Pistorius receiving preferential treatment - ANCYL

League says case highlights continuing inequality in our society

Statement of the ANC Youth League on inequality in sports

The recent bail hearing of the accused Oscar Pistorius has glaringly brought, once again, to the fore the continuing inequality in our society.  While the country continues to mourn the life of Reeva Steenkamp and is kept focused on the unfolding events in the court, one would have to be blind to miss the priviledge and wealth of Pistorius that is a consistent undertone running throughout the hearing.

Such is evident in the assets the court has confirmed Pistorius to have, the preferential treatment meted out to him including being kept in the Brooklyn police station instead of in the barracks like other awaiting bail prisoners  and the bail conditions set, consistent with his stature as a successful and accomplished sportsman.

The ANC Youth League decries the blatant inequality to opportunity and support within the sporting fraternity. South Africa's racial history is such that, the minority in this country continue to reap the benefits of years of oppression of the black majority through continuing and exclusive access to training facilities, the best coaches, sponsorship deals and many other privileges open only to the white minority and not the black majority.

Athletes as successful as Pistorius such as Caster Semenya, Khotso Mokoena and many more are faced with difficult circumstances on a daily basis and can only dream about the wealth of Pistorius. They do not even posses ten percent of what he has; wealth that is perpetuated by sponsorship and endorsement deals arising from their historical privilege and support to get them where they are today. The playing fields are far from level.

Business, government and the sporting fraternity must take decisive action to ensure greater equity to the opportunities for development and economic prosperity in sports. A conscious and deliberate programme must be undertaken to ensure that firstly, development is standardised at the most basic level and access to coaches, equipment and sporting facilities is made available to all our athletes to increase their competitiveness. Most importantly, business must never forsake their responsibility to play their role in the transformation of this country and this they can never do by continuing to reward only those like them.

Statement issued by the ANC Youth League, February 24 2013

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