Getting rid of the Springbok rugby emblem is like throwing away a piece of our national heritage. This is an idea that the ANC is going to discuss at its policy conference. I am opposed to the idea of discarding the Springbok rugby emblem.
Nelson Mandela wore it proudly when the Springboks won the World Cup in 1995. This is the emblem that will be embedded in the minds of all South Africans when they think about the achievements of our national rugby squad since our readmission to international sport.
The emblem is a brand that represents national unity. When South African national teams compete anywhere, South Africans stand behind them as one nation. This is as true for other sports as it is for rugby.
The Springbok emblem is an internationally recognised and respected brand. The ANC would have us believe that there is something wrong with the Springbok emblem; that it has links to the apartheid past. This argument is wrong and it ignores the history of the Springboks since 1994.
The ANC also consciously dismisses the black, coloured and Indian communities who support the Springboks. There is no doubt that when Brian Habana's mother thinks about the Springbok emblem, she is not thinking about apartheid, but remembering her son's amazing performances in many Springbok games.
If Mandela could proudly wear the Springbok on his number 6 shirt, then there can never be anything distasteful about the emblem.
One only has to watch the team sing the national anthem, all clasping their national emblems to their hearts to know that the emblem is a symbol of how far we have come as a nation.
Moifo Thabo, GaNchabeleng