Transformation inquiry looms
FIREBRAND Sport and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula is to launch a transformation commission of inquiry to investigate whether all sporting codes are serious about ensuring sport is fully inclusive.
Mbalula said he would swing into action after President Jacob Zuma's state of the nation address in Cape Town on February 9 and no sporting code would be safe.
"This commission will focus on transformation, evaluate quotas and keep a scorecard on all sporting codes around these issues.
"I want to know what they are all doing about transformation. I want to see multiracial rugby and cricket teams by the end of the year.
"I want to see all the teams multiracial. But (swimming) will take 100 years to be multiracial because black people cannot swim.
"When I raise these issues I am not being racist," Mbalula said.
"When the Springbok and cricket teams go on tour we say how many blacks are there?"
All sporting codes took a battering from Mbalula and he said he was forced to become involved in the cricket bonus scandal because the administrators were seemingly reluctant to resolve the problems within the sport.
"I had to intervene because people were dragging their feet. I was not supposed to get involved in the (cricket bonus scandal) if cricket took itself seriously."
Mbalula also said he was not too bothered that the two candidates identified by the South African Rugby Union (Saru) - Heyneke Meyer and Gert Smal - for the Springbok coaching job are both white.
"I am not involved in the selection of the Springbok coach. That is for Saru to answer.
"But it is not the colour that defines development. Even if you can put a black person to become a Springbok coach, it still depends on the material that you have.
"It does not matter whether you are black or white or coloured or purple. The question is the heart of the new coach."
The new coach will be announced on Friday and Meyer is expected to get the nod ahead of Smal.
Mbalula said South African business could not invest in sport if the culture of corruption persists.
He said there was no one "in their right mind" who would invest large sums of money in sport when rampant corruption continued unabated. The South African Football Association (Safa) was not spared either and he criticised the body for Bafana Bafana's failure to qualify for this year's African Nations Cup.
Mbalula said it was incomprehensible that Bafana failed to qualify for the event under way in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon because coach Pitso Mosimane and Safa somehow managed to misinterpret the qualifying rules of the Confederation of African Football.
"Deputy president of Safa (Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana), this thing that you lost qualification for the Nations Cup because you misread the rules cannot be right. That is not good corporate governance."
The tough-talking Mbalula said he would not be told by Fifa president Sepp Blatter not to become involved in football matters if Safa was not doing their job properly.
"He must go and run his office in Zurich. The same goes for cricket."
Mbalula said it was crucial for development to start at an early level and he made an example of a conversation he once had with US tennis player Serena Williams.
"The example I was making about Serena (Williams) when she said to me she was coming to SA (in 2008) to help develop and encourage tennis among African and black children. She said, 'But you must understand I started playing tennis at the age of six. When I was at the age of 10 I was competing.' So you cannot start swimming at the age of 20 because you're going to drown."
Racial bitterness: page 19
More in this section
- Disillusioned SA will learn to walk like Egyptians
- Chaskalson transcended his bias and loyalties
- EDITORIAL: The problem with ANC branches
- People were central to Chaskalson’s endeavours
- THICK END OF THE WEDGE: Zuma’s Get Out of Jail Free card
- NEWS ANALYSIS: ANC’s winner in Mangaung may still lack legitimacy
- SABC presenter Mbuli hailed as patriot and ‘zealous newshound’
- Guptagate report shows manipulation, collusion and illegal blue lights
- There just may be glitter in gold shares
- Sanral ‘refuses’ to disclose Winelands toll costs, says City of Cape Town
- Saxonwold ANC ‘to act against Atul Gupta’
- Amcu leader says union will ‘bring economy to standstill’