Michelle Pietersen

Political Bureau

MANGLING the national anthem is no laughing matter, says Parliament.

The National Assembly’s committee on sports said an apology from SuperSport for a botched performance of the anthem at the announcement of the Springbok World Cup squad on Tuesday was not enough, and it has called the broadcaster and the SA Rugby Union (Saru) to appear before it to explain.

But the man in the middle, Just Jinjer lead singer Ard Matthews, who fumbled his rendition of Nkosi Sikel’ iAfrika and began to giggle, will not be called – to explain or to sing.

In a statement yesterday, the acting chairman of the sports committee, Mgolodi Dikgacwi, said the anthem “must be treated with the dignity and respect it deserves”.

He said the committee had noted that these incidents were becoming “more frequent and go against the goal of uniting the country”.

In November 2009, reggae singer Ras Dumisani caused a similar outcry with his bungled rendition of the national anthem before a rugby Test match in France.

While the incident might have provided comic relief to some South Africans, the committee said “we do not find joy in witnessing punctuations of embarrassing the country, in an event that was witnessed by the whole nation”.

“The committee has invited SuperSport and the SA Rugby Union to the next meeting to obtain an explanation about the debacle, but more importantly to take precautionary measures in avoiding such embarrassments in the future.”

l Under the title "Ard Matthews CAN sing the national anthem", the singer now appears on youtube singing the national anthem without faltering. He ends by saying "sorry for the last time". The video was posted last night. By 10 this morning, close to 5300 people had watched the video.

Reactions posted on the site ranged from "Dude, I love your band and all, but you should have just let it go, this is gonna make you look silly and desperate.? Just laugh it off, to " Much better dude" and "chin up". Check it out on

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bg9RhaNlP9k&feature=related