GREAT Britain Hockey has apologised to SA Hockey for playing Die Stem in error at the Investec London Cup.
The South Africans lodged a complaint with the competition manager after a snippet of Die Stem, the apartheid anthem, was played before the Proteas’ game on Tuesday against Great Britain, which SA won 3 – 1.
Last night, the team accepted the apology.
GB Hockey Board communications manager Lawrence West said the SA team had received a face-to-face apology from the contractor responsible for the mistake and GB Hockey chief operating officer Sally Munday yesterday afternoon.
West said Munday had also written to SA Hockey Association chief executive Marissa Langeni, stating: “Great Britain Hockey, the organiser of the Investec London Cup, offers a full and unreserved apology to the South African women’s hockey team and their supporters for mistakenly playing the wrong national anthem before South Africa’s match with Great Britain on Tuesday afternoon.”
She said the correct anthem would be played before South Africa’s remaining matches.
In a statement earlier, Langeni said they had been “disappointed” and “embarrassed” by the blunder.
“The anthem played caused our team much discomfort as they stood, not knowing what to do with themselves. This incident has robbed our team of what should have been a moment of pride.
“We are extremely happy that the Great Britain Hockey has offered an apology to the team after we circulated that e-mail about our dissatisfaction with the wrong anthem being played. We are also pleased that the COO of Great Britain Hockey went to the team and gave the apology personally,” Langeni said.