SA Hockey wants apology for ‘Die Stem’

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IOL SA Hockey_women . File photo: SA Hockey has requested an apology from the Investec London Cup competition manager after an anthem blunder before the SA women's team match against Great Britain.

London - The SA Hockey Association has requested a personal apology from competition manager Steve Catton after the apartheid anthem, Die Stem, was played before the SA women’s hockey team’s 3-1 upset win over Great Britain at the Investec London Cup in Chiswick, London, on Tuesday evening.

“We are extremely disappointed that an administrative blunder has been the source of much embarrassment for our team and all South Africans,” SA Hockey Association CEO Marissa Langeni said on Wednesday morning.

“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,” said Langeni.

South Africa, ranked 12th in the world, stunned Great Britain, rated fourth, with a 3-1 victory in their opening match of the London Cup tournament.

They face Germany, ranked third in the world, in their next match on Wednesday night.

In Tuesday’s earlier match, world number one Holland beat world seven Australia 2-1.

Earlier reports said that the team had brushed off the incident and would not request an apology.

Team manager Les Galloway confirmed that the anthem played by the host nation was not Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika.

“It was not Die Stem, but it was not the correct anthem either, it was like a mix. It was bizarre,” Galloway said.

“We made them aware of it and they have promised to rectify it.”

Galloway said that on Wednesday morning she would listen to the anthem the officials intended playing that night to ensure the error had been corrected.

“We don't like the old anthem, and we don't want it played. No doubt,” she said.

“… I have spoken to the officials and by tomorrow night it will be done and dusted.

“We didn't think it was a serious problem,” she said. - IOL, Sapa


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