Work with whites, pleads Marapyane

Linda Moreotsene

Linda Moreotsene

Softball South Africa president Guillo Marapyane has expressed disappointment with some black softball associations reluctant to work with whites in transforming the sport.

Marapyane was referring to the absence of a team representing the North West province at the Softball Inter-Provincial tournament held in Limpopo recently.

Moreover, an all-white team representing Gauteng North took part in the high calibre tournament.

This was viewed as strange by softball lovers, who have always regarded Atteridgeville and Mamelodi as leading lights in South African softball.

The situation arose when officials from the townships started Bojanala Softball Association, which also has teams in the North West and Mpumalanga, instead of campaigning under the Gauteng North banner.

Bojanala had earlier indicated that a team representing the province will be sent to the tournament. They later withdrew from the tournament, citing the lack of necessary funds to make the trip.

"We also understood that they were new affiliates. They were only granted affiliation two weeks before the tournament.

"What is of concern to us is that they seem to be running away from challenges," Marapyane said. I don't understand why clubs from Atteridgeville and Mamelodi don't want to engage their white counterparts and solve their problems.

"I understand that some people can stand on the way of transformation, but all of us in the country face those issues and find ways to deal with them. If the situation was reversed, there would be a big uproar about this," Marapyane said.

Andre Wessels, Gauteng North president said he was disappointed that the black clubs would not play with them.

"I am the one person who has to go out and make sure that people comply with rules and regulations. But now this situation makes us look like we don't want to comply with them ourselves.

" My club is one of the first clubs to go out to the black areas to play softball. Even now, I have some black players that I recruited into the team. My son Salmon plays for (Mahwelereng) Spikes in Limpopo. He also plays for Limpopo, which is black dominated."

Precious Selomane, Bojanala PRO, could not comment further on their differences, but said they were also disappointed with having to pull out of the championships.

"We applied for assistance from the North West provincial government, but found that they had exhausted their finances. We were disappointed not to go the championships, but with our affiliation being granted late, we did could not take care of all the logistics," said Atteridgeville-based Selomane.