At least five international sporting bodies will be approached in a bid to block racially based quota systems in South African sport.
Minority rights movement AfriForum and trade union Solidarity say they are ready to submit their 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 report was compiled after the two bodies came into possession of information pertaining to the government’s 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 these visits, AfriForum and Solidarity will explain how the relevant South African sporting bodies acted contrary the international rules and regulations of 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, Solidarity’s Spokesperson.
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).