Picture: 123RF/WAVEBREAK MEDIA LTD
Picture: 123RF/WAVEBREAK MEDIA LTD

Most people in SA have forgotten the vision and dreams that we had in the 1990s. In those days the ANC leadership could see the possibilities of a new SA, reconciled, united and building the first rainbow nation in Africa. We all wanted to be part of this shining example of the human spirit overcoming adversity, civil conflict, social and ethnic division.

That dream was short-lived and lies shattered at the door of our current leadership in all echelons of society, not just in politics.  

We now live in a country of division where there should be inclusion. The government, the Cricket SA members’ council, Eskom, Steinhoff and SAA to name a few are proof of this. Factions, individuals and organisations battle for their pathetic minute piece of turf, often for personal gain and relevance, while the country suffers. Few are for the common good.

The rifts in the ANC stifle their ability to focus and perform their constitutional responsibilities. The state-owned enterprises (SOEs) blunder in their corruption and historical incompetence. The Cricket SA members’ council remains stuck in its own conspiracy, even now.

And now the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc), who last year requested the minister of sport to intervene and deal with the Cricket SA mess, as they did not have the capacity or ability, is another such example. The minister has handled the issue with diplomacy and wisdom and reached an agreement for the common good.

Now, Sascoc come blundering back in, like a bull in a china shop, swaggering with their own importance and arrogance. In this Olympic year (one hopes), Sascoc senses that the government does not want to punish athletes by disbanding the Olympic committee, which would lead to SA being removed from the Games. Sascoc assumes the government has some regard for the athletes, while it plays Russian roulette with their dreams.

Sascoc’s actions are so similar to those of the members’ council over the last year, filled with self-interest and no regard for those they are supposed to support and promote.

We now swirl deeper into SA sports’ tempestuous maelstrom.

Feel anger

As South Africans, we need to repel those who seek to divide and conquer while the country continues to slide perhaps towards becoming another failed African state, so eloquently described by Prince Machela in the Sowetan a week ago: “What Zuma has done is make us come to the realisation that ours is just another African country on the southern tip of the African continent ... SA might look like Kenya, where tribalism drives politics”. That is a stark and sobering statement.

This is an unacceptable scenario. SA is unique. The leaders need to feel the anger of the people and not rely on their inner circle feeding off them. It is not their turn to eat, it is everyone’s.

The ANC dream is not forgotten. We can build our rainbow nation one small step at a time. That is the vision of many of us who are working towards developing a rainbow nation in Cape Town’s South Peninsula, which encompasses Simon’s Town, Fish Hoek, Kommetjie, Ocean View and Masiphumelele. 

The new Cricket SA board can play its part. The only way forward in sport is to have skilled professional and diverse leadership in each national board — not old amateur itinerant directors.

The current Cricket SA structures point to our weaknesses. The eight voting members of the last Cricket SA cricket committee, which was disbanded seven months ago, is made up almost exclusively of those chosen from the members’ council, board and CEOs committee. Stephen Cook was the only cricketer on the committee. This for a cricket think-tank that is tasked to propose recommendations to be approved by the Cricket SA board to produce a strong cricket nation. Imagine!

Oh, I forgot, the board members sit on the cricket council already, don’t they? Silly me! This illustrates the members’ council’s strategy to control everything with their limited cricket, global and business intellect and remain in power.

Compare that with the current fully independent members of the International Cricket Council (ICC): Anil Kumble, Andrew Strauss, Mahela Jawardene, Rahul Dravid, Tim May, Mickey Arthur, Richard Illingworth, Ranjan Madugalle, Sean Pollock, Kyle Coetzee and one representative from the MCC, CEOs and the Statisticians Association. Their gravitas ensures their recommendations are taken very seriously by the ICC board.

That sharp contrast shows what we as a sporting nation have become. It is a disgrace. Sport in this country needs a complete overhaul for our children, players and fans. Sascoc should have no part.

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