Sports minister Nathi Mthethwa has expressed new concern at the state of transformation and discrimination in South African sport.
In a press release from the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture sent out on Friday, it was confirmed that Mthethwa had met with a number of former professional sportsmen and sportswomen in a video conference on Thursday.
The purpose of the meeting, the statement said, was to provide a platform to former players who had “requested an engagement with the minister to discuss issues of transformation in sport.”
The meeting also comes at a time when the Black Lives Matter has shone a bright light on the prejudices and feelings of exclusion that have existed in South African sport.
Several players, particularly in the cricket space, have come forward in recent weeks with their own accounts of how they experienced racism in their playing days.
Discrimination in sport, Mthethwa said, was a “cancer” that needed to be eradicated.
On the transformation front, Mthethwa pointed to the annual Eminent Persons Group (EPG) reports that seek to gauge the levels of transformation success across all of the country’s sporting codes as a vehicle to bring about change.
“I am so proud of all of you. You have demonstrated to us that we still have heroes and heroines who are able to stand up and say enough is enough,” Mthethwa told those present in the meeting.
“I respect you for that and I will never forget each and every one of you who are here today.
“This meeting comes at a time when we are going to start the process of calling in all the sporting codes based on the EPG Report, starting with the worst affected sport.
“We are not dealing with issues of administration here; we are dealing with injustice and basic human rights.