Cyril Ramaphosa before we lost the vote. Picture: GCIS
Cyril Ramaphosa before we lost the vote. Picture: GCIS

Wake up, South Africa! Losing out on hosting Rugby World Cup 2023 is, to some degree, yet another symptom of the arrogant kleptocracy we have become.

We won the 2022 Commonwealth Games, and then lost it after trying to renege on what we had promised to deliver.

With RWC 2023 we won the recommendation but lost the all-important vote - SA Rugby bosses were leading this race.

If the plan was to rely on the integrity of the World Rugby voters, then Mark Alexander and his cohorts were naive. Had they forgotten how we got the 2010 Soccer World Cup?

The very voters they relied on were all politicians, albeit in the realm of rugby, and we know politicians don't do integrity.

The SA Rugby brains trust may be sharks in the ponds of South Africa, but they're guppies in international waters.

Alexander, who also headed the Durban 2022 bid committee, has now lost two showpieces from pole position. If he truly believes in integrity he should resign.

Durban 2022 followed by RWC 2023 offered great potential for this country. Instead, France can look forward to RWC 2023 and the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

One can argue the RWC 2023 loss is a good result for our deteriorating economy, but that is an insular viewpoint which ignores the deeper problems facing this country. This certainly wasn't a consideration for all of those who handed RWC 2023 to France.

Yesterday was also partly about our image abroad, and it's worrying that even ANC presidential hopeful Cyril Ramaphosa, the face of our bid, failed to allay fears.

Long gone are the days when the Rainbow Nation was the darling of the world. We are sliding into a troubled future and the only people who can save us are us.

It's time we woke up.

- This editorial comment appeared in The Times newspaper

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