The African National Congress is starting its “dispute resolution process” in a bid to address the a.
The South African Rugby Union will meet today to discuss statements attributed to Springbok flanker Luke Watson regarding South African rugby, his teammates and the national jersey.
"If the reports are accurate this is a very serious matter indeed," Andy Marinos, SA Rugby's manager of national teams and acting managing director, said in an official news release yesterday.
"But we can't pre-judge the matter on the strength of media reports and we can make no definitive statement until we have in our hands what evidence there may be."
Watson was quoted in an article on website rugby365.com as saying that "the problem with SA Rugby is that it is controlled by Dutchmen [Afrikaans-speaking white South Africans]".
He said the "bigger picture" kept him from vomiting on the Springbok jersey and that "the men who sit on my left and right of me in the change room despise me for who I am".
"We need to see the bigger picture and realise that the here and now is not just the here and now, but the here and now only exists because of those who went before us and because of those who are still to come," he was quoted as saying during a rugby festival at the University of Cape Town earlier this month.
Watson's father Cheeky was an outspoken anti-racism activist during the apartheid era who declined the opportunity to participate in Springbok trials as a promising player because of his convictions and has made no secret of his displeasure with the game's current administration.
Meanwhile, Saru welcomed the statement of the ANC outlining their formal position on the future of the Springbok emblem.
Saru president Oregan Hoskins said he supported the ANC's stance in believing that sufficient debate had not taken place for an informed decision to be taken.
"Rugby believes that the Springbok emblem is actually a force for unity in this country and anyone who saw the tens of thousands of South Africans of all races flock to welcome back the World Cup-winning Springboks last October couldn't help but conclude that the public had voted loud and clear on just what they think about the Springbok emblem.
"We will happily engage with the leadership of our government on the issue and welcome their invitation to involve all parties in the debate."
In their statement the ANC said: "The ANC would like to state categorically that it would not like to see any replacement or change of the Springbok emblem until sufficient debate and consultation of all stakeholders, including rugby supporters, has taken place.
"We would also like to encourage our world-acclaimed sportsmen to continue winning more World Cups for South Africa and not be distracted by debates on the future of the Springbok emblem." - Reuters and Sapa