Court showdown on cards for quotas in sport

3 months ago written by

SA’s new sports minister is ready to throw the country’s “best lawyers” at trade unions Solidarity to prevent them continuing with their “apartheid agenda” in sport transformation and anti-quota stance. Solidarity is saying: Bring it on Minister – we will see you in court!

Solidarity was responding to Sports Minister Tokozile Xasa’s sensational remark about the trade union’s court case on quotas in sport. The trade union requested the minister to “drop her unfounded allegations and to first study Solidarity’s application before passing comment on its contents”.

The move comes after the minister said Solidarity was “frustrating” the country’s transformation agenda and that it wanted to “preserve the apartheid agenda” by means of the court case.

Solidarity says in view her remarks the minister apparently will be instructing “the country’s top lawyers to oppose the application”.

According to Anton van der Bijl, head of Solidarity’s Labour Law division, this type of sensational politicking was to be expected in the run-up to the national elections in 2019. “It is shocking that a minister can make such statements. It is clear that the minister has not deigned herself to read the court papers before criticising it. I challenge the minister to substantiate any of her points of criticism by quoting any such references in our application,” Van der Bijl emphasised.

Van der Bijl contends that if the minister reads the court papers she would clearly notice that Solidarity’s case is not propagating an anti-transformation agenda as such as she claims it does, but that it aims to have the one-sided, racially-based quota system declared unlawful. “The extent to which the minister and several sports federations impose race as sole criterion for team selection flies in the face of the constitutional rights players and the public have,” Van der Bijl said.

“We are looking forward to meeting her and the country’s top lawyers – the latter unfortunately being paid for by the taxpayer – in court,” Van der Bijl concluded.

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