Let's launch our spin attack from the moral high ground

01 April 2018 - 00:00 By peter bruce

South Africans cheering the current humiliation of the visiting Australian cricket team should begin to temper their joy. For a start, the test series is not yet won. Second, we will one day have to tour Australia.
Life is difficult for an adult at the best of times. When you're still basically a kid and representing your country at the top level of sport and you're far from home and you get into trouble it must be the loneliest thing to be.
Yes, what the Australian captain, Steve Smith, allowed to happen in the third test in Cape Town was disgraceful. He has been swiftly and thoroughly punished. That is how you deal with crises of integrity.
But the jostling and jeering of Smith at OR Tambo International Airport on Wednesday as he was escorted to a flight home was almost as disgraceful as the ball tampering in Cape Town. We don't treat visitors like that. If we do we must expect the same when we travel.

South Africa and Australia are great friends and, on the sporting field, great rivals. It's been that way for a long time.
Australians are arguably the most competitive people on the planet and nothing feels quite as good as beating them. Which, being competitive too, we do. Often.
For all sorts of reasons our lives as South Africans are made more complete by the fact that Australia exists, and in our hemisphere and in our faces. They make us better, thankful to be who we are, proud to be different.
When my sister Wendy's husband, the newspaper editor Donald Woods, was banned in 1977 for trying to spread the story of Steve Biko's murder around the world, it was an Australian diplomat, Bruce Haigh, who helped him escape into exile and publish the Biko biography he had been secretly writing.
No diplomat ever exploited his diplomatic immunity to contribute to the struggle during his time here to the extent that Haigh did. His story still hasn't been adequately told.
It is such a pity that some of the background to the current atmosphere of hostility is political. Playing to the conservative gallery back home, the Australian home affairs minister, Peter Dutton, has taken sides with white nationalist groups here and has swallowed whole their twisted campaign to convince the world that in South Africa white farmers are being systematically and deliberately butchered...

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