At this moment, I am really worked up. The reason? The poor Springbok is once again under fire. Will this ever end? We have a few idiots in government who are doing their utmost to get rid of the one thing they know white people hold very dear in this country. The Springbok has been the emblem of our national rugby side for more than a 100 years and is the only emblem to have remained intact after unification. Mainly due to Nelson Mandela`s influence. However, with Madiba on a well deserved retirement a few of the government officials have taken it upon themselves to get rid of the Springbok and to replace it with the Protea (which is used by the other sporting codes as the official emblem).
The only problem is that the Springbok is the lone world class side left in this country. The national soccer side has fallen from number 15 in the world to 83. Our Olympic squad brought home a grand total of ONE medal, a silver one in the men's long jump. We don't have a tennis player in the top 100! Our sport is a mess and it is purely because of government intervention.
So now, they want to change the emblem of the Springbok, the current world champions. The funny thing is that the gravy train riding government ministers who all wore their Springbok jerseys happily last year in France when we were crowned world champions, are now rooting for the emblem to be scrapped. Strange, if it was an issue then surely they wouldn`t have accepted the jerseys presented to them by the team last year, not to mention WEAR them at the final! It is a joke, a complete joke.
Things like this make me very unhappy in South Africa. Instead of focusing on the poor Olympic performance, they focus on stripping a team of it`s identity? Maybe it`s shifting the focus from their own incompetencies.
The fact is that the Springbok is not the white mans. Brian Habana is a Springbok and a hero to millions of South Africans. Tendai "Beast" Mtawarira is one of our favourite players in this country and a proud Springbok. Chester Williams, Ricky January, Bolla Conradie, Conrad Jantjes, JP Pietersen, Adi Jacobs, Jongi Nokwe to name but a few, are all players of colour who would die for the Springbok. Did anybody from government ask their opinions? Guess not, cos it`s only governments opinion that counts.
The ironic thing is that no other sport has done more to unify the country. Winning world cups in 1995 and 2007 was indescribable and showed just how we can all be one. Seeing black and white celebrate in the streets after the 1995 victory is something that I`ll never forget. Then there was no black and white, only South Africans. The same happened in 2007, one country, one nation.
This is a complex country and I am as liberal as the next guy but please, hurting us for the sake of payback? That`s not what a government in a true democracy would do and not what the great Nelson Mandela envisioned.