Johannesburg - Transform or perish! This was a chilling message from the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) on Wednesday following a racist tirade which erupted on social media this week.
The league called on Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula to cut or reduce funding for sporting codes, cricket and rugby, in order to expedite the transformation agenda.
ANCYL secretary-general Njabulo Nzuza singled out the sporting codes for their alleged lack of transformation, saying they were being used to “promote white supremacy in the country”, and that the league stood by Mbalula’s decisive action.
Mbalula recently announced a ban on the country’s sports associations from hosting international events due to their failure to meet transformation targets.
He said the Eminent Persons Group report on sport transformation recognised that the playing field was not equal.
This prompted Cape Town resident, Matthew Theunissen, to take on Facebook on Monday evening, where he unapologetically referred to the government as a bunch of k******. He has since apologised for using “hurtful language”.
On Wednesday, Mbalula said people like Theunissen had no place in society and “must be isolated as they take us backwards (and) reminding us of our painful past”. Their national imperative, he said, remained transforming and making sports inclusive, fair and equitable.
Theunissen, said Mbalula, had no national interest at heart and was “blinded” by privilege into thinking some sporting codes were the preserve of a certain race.
“Our white compatriots and the majority in our country believe in and accept the need for transformation as a process to bring about unity and social cohesion, which are fundamental pillars of the constitutional principles of redress and equity,” he said.
Nzuza said they would picket outside the SA Rugby Union’s office in Cape Town next week, to “show our disgust on the snail’s pace of transformation” in the sport.
Last month, Saru named Allister Coetzee as the Springboks’ new head coach, replacing Heyneke Meyer. Coetzee has former Springbok Sevens captain Mzwandile Stick, and Johann van Graan as assistant coaches.
Nzuza commended Mbalula’s leadership saying it should serve as a warning to other sectors resisting transformation. “This includes employment equity in the workplace and business in general. A spectre of the third revolution is haunting the white dominated economy, transform or perish,” he said.
Progressive Professionals Forum convener in North West, Sediko Rakolote, said measures should be put in place to deal with anti-transformation agendas before the marginalised “completely lose patience”.
It was disappointing that there was still lack of transformation in employment equity, highlighted in the Commission of Employment Equity 2014/2015 report, he said.
“It is the responsibility of all of us to contribute towards the dismantling of the legacy of apartheid and contribute towards the building a prosperous country,” said Rakolote.