JOHANNESBURG - On the 6th of April and probably in some hotel at Newlands in Cape Town, the South African Rugby Union will have their elections and continue on their kamikaze downward spiral that will lead to the ultimate demise of the sport.
Just in case anyone hasn’t noticed South African rugby is on the decline on and off the field and judging by the names of the nominees for the positions of president, deputy president and members of the executive council, I can say with certainty the sport I love so much is on its way out.
What is scary is that rugby has been in dire straits for some time now and under the control of the very same individuals who are running for office and to remain as custodians of the game.
I’m not surprised that the sport is losing its appeal and it will continue to do so because of what the faces and individuals represent.
The names on that nominations list tell us everything that is still wrong about the sport and the perception that the sport is unwilling to change and would rather die than be in the hands of progress.
It was with disappointment, even though expected, a great deal of sadness and a tinge of anger that I twice read over the email Saru sent with the list of nominees for the elections.
Saru unashamedly showed the rugby loving public, the rest of the country and rugby world the middle finger and typical of the archaic institution they are, proved once again that they couldn’t care less about what we think about them and the future of the sport.
How is it that in this day and age a list for leadership positions is male and white dominated? How is it that the very same men, who are all over the age of 50, who have brought rugby to its knees in the country are still entrusted with the sport and taking it into the future?
How is it that the only individuals who can seemingly administer the game are white and coloured and no other races are represented in a country where black Africans are the majority?
Where are our women administrators? Where are our black African administrators? Where are the young black and white administrators?
And before anyone tells me that the people I have cited as being excluded should join rugby at club level and prove themselves there, I will remind them that it is the very same backward system and thinking that has got our rugby to where it is at the moment.
There are plenty of good young black rugby administrators out there such as Durbanville Bellville’s Sinethemba Zweni and KZNRU general manager Siseko Jafta.
The same applies to women such as Viwe Qegu, Nomsebenzi Tsotsobe, Mandisa Williams and Willemien van der Merwe. It is a shame that World Rugby appointed our own Wendy Luhabe as one of their independent directors into their executive committee two years ago and Saru is still dragging its feet in getting women involved in rugby, let alone getting women’s rugby going.
If rugby is to change in our country, it must not just say so but also be seen to be doing so.
There needs to be different voices and minds making decisions for change and those are black African males, black and white women and most being young people who can breathe new life into the old and dying carcass of rugby.
But with the Saru I know nothing will change, they will continue to pay lip service and perpetuate everything that is wrong with our rugby and country.
Come the 6th of April and probably at that same hotel at Newlands where so many bad and wrong decisions have been made, Saru will again vote in another group of old white and coloured men and still wonder why our rugby is dying.
President: Mr Mark Alexander (incumbent President); Adv André May (Leopards)
Deputy President: Mr Francois Davids (incumbent Deputy President); Dr Jan Marais (Griffons)
Executive Council: Mr Vivian Lottering (incumbent - Valke); Mr Schalk Liebenberg (KZN); Mr Hein Mentz (Pumas); Mr Lindsay Mould (Free State); Mr Arthob Petersen (Boland); Mr JJ van der Mescht (Blue Bulls); Mr Thelo Wakefield (WP)