South Africa 4.5.2016 12:40 pm

‘Theunissen has no place in society’

Minister Fikile Mbalula. Picture: Michel Bega

Minister Fikile Mbalula. Picture: Michel Bega

Mbalula was voicing his concerns over racist remarks made by Theunissen on a hosting ban issued by the ministry.

People like youngster Matthew Theunissen have “no place in society and must be isolated”, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula has charged.

Mbalula was voicing his concerns over racist remarks made by Theunissen on a hosting ban issued by the ministry in order to address issues of transformation in certain sporting fraternities, including rugby and cricket.

The “k-word”, has been used when Theunissen posted on Facebook, his anger over the ban. Even though quickly deleted, Theunissen’s post had already been screengrabbed and doing the rounds on social media, sparking an uproar.

This follows the recent release of the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) report, showing that transformation targets had still not been reached 20 years into democracy.

“What we cannot undo however, are racist people who believe one race is superior to the other,” Mbalula said.

“We owe no explanation to people like Matthew who have no national interest at heart but are blinded by privileged thinking that some of our sporting codes are an exclusive property of a certain race in our society.

“People like Matthew have no place in our society and must be isolated, as they take us backwards reminding us of our painful past. Our national imperative is to transform and make sport inclusive, fair and equitable.”

He said the EPG report recognised that the playing field in sport is unequal.

“This recognition is what some of our white people must understand. Levelling the playing field is not a racist and divisive exercise, rather one that integrates society.”

Messages of support for its transformation drive,were received by the department following the release of the report, it said.

Mbalula said he noted these messages and thanked “all conscious South Africans who are fully aware of the inequalities that exist in sport and the task at hand to address and eradicate them”.

“Our white compatriots and the majority in our country believe in and accepts 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.

“Racists are but a small fascist minority to which we refuse to be distracted by their words and deeds in fulfilling our historic mission of building a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous society.”

 

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