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Sat May 30 20:25:50 SAST 2015

We must learn some lessons to transform: iLIVE

Dumile CG Mateza, Fourways, Johannesburg | 12 November, 2012 00:48
CSA media briefing
Dr. Willie Basson (CSA Acting President)
Image by: Lee Warren / Gallo Images

Not long ago I read a document about rugby transformation compiled by Dr Willie Basson, acting president of Cricket South Africa.

In this document, Basson quoted extensively from former president Thabo Mbeki's "I am an African" speech. I was of the view that he wanted to drive the point of transformation away from the accepted norm, the norm being that transformation in sport is synonymous with the number of black faces in the national rugby team.

Transformation is nothing but a paradigm shift from the way things are usually done, but we seem not to have learnt from the lessons around us.

I recall that a Springbok team touring the UK included players such as Gcobani Bobo and Thando Manana.

On every tour new players are initiated and expected to do certain chores for veteran players, but on this tour certain black players did not take kindly to the chores and initiation. Manana, in particular, is reported to have chastised other players by informing them that in his custom, all the other white and coloured players were boys and had no right to drag him through the initiation as he had been to the mountain (initiation to manhood).

We profess to be Africans, yet we have not grasped this essence of our African customs.

Another aspect of this lack of understanding transformation is the absence of local and international rugby on the SABC.

Then we wonder why a greater number of South African rugby supporters of colour would rather support the All Blacks or any other foreign team that tours our shores.

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