As a revolutionary movement, Black First Land First (BLF), is not in the business of congratulating this government which has consistently in the past 22 years served whites at the expense of blacks. However, the action taken by Minister Mbalula needs to be applauded and he must be encouraged to use all the instruments of transformation he has to the fullest extent possible. The timidity of the ANC government in front of white people is a disgrace and shame. It is for this reason that small acts like the decision of the Minister to revoke the rights of the whites only national teams must be welcomed. The ANC must see this as an example – that calling and acting on transformation is now going to make the heavens fall.
BLF has consistently campaigned against the white teams. During the last Rugby World Cup, our movement took the stance of picketing against the Springboks and ran a social media campaign under #WhiteSpringBoksMustFall. BLF joined the millions of conscious people in our country and the world who celebrated each time the White Bokke lost a game. We shall always remember the memes that came with the loss to Japan and the festivities in our streets because the Springbok team, as it is currently constituted, is a Eurpean team that proclaims to represent South Africa. This is also true for Netball, Cricket and athletics. South Africa is a black majority country and in this context our sporting codes, as all other aspects of life including the economy, must reflect this reality.
The decision by Minister Mbalula is light and soft given the seriousness of the crime of refusal to transform our society. Sports places an important role in the symbolic order of things and helps channel the self-awareness of a people. The psychological violence perpetrated on the nation and in particular black children is incalculable. What must they think when they see our national team which doesn’t reflect them? The message sent is that blacks are not good enough and would therefore have to take their position at the back of the queue. This is violence against blacks and it must end!
BLF calls on Minister Mbalula to act with more vigour and resolve and to this end move steadily towards implementing the other elements of the Memoranda of Agreements (MOA’s) signed with the various sporting codes, which have been violated. The “Transformation Barometer” is itself mild and doesn’t call for complete representativity in that it requires 60% black representation instead of a proportion that will reflect the demographics of SA being, 89% black.
The Minister can, in terms of the various MOA’s, still take a number of actions. BLF is now calling on the Minister to evaluate progress in the next six months and to thereafter impose such punitive measure(s) available to him according to the MOA, including the withdrawal of government’s recognition of the federations which have failed to meet the country’s real transformation barometer. Basically, the government must withhold the national colors from the defaulting sporting codes. This will effectively serve as a deterrent as well as a preventative measure with the aim of ultimately decolonizing sport.
SA remains a laughing stock amongst nations. Our people remain landless in their own land. This must change and change fast. The ruling party has shown no capacity to have a spine and the necessary foresight to deal with the challenges of transformation. This is so because it is afraid to offend white sensibilities. BLF shall continue to demand that the White Springboks and all the other white teams must fall! Until our national teams reflect BLACK we shall not root for them!
ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL COORDINATING COMMITTEE OF THE BLACK FIRST LAND FIRST MOVEMENT
26 April 2016
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