Poet declines hall of fame induction

Dennis Brutus turned down his induction into the Sports Hall of Fame this week, the Centre for Civil Society at the University of KwaZulu-Natal said on Friday.

Dennis Brutus turned down his induction into the Sports Hall of Fame this week, the Centre for Civil Society at the University of KwaZulu-Natal said on Friday.

"I cannot be party to an event where unapologetic racists are also honoured, or join a Hall of Fame alongside those who flourished under racist sport," Brutus said at the induction.

"Their inclusion is a deception because of their unfair advantage, as so many talented black athletes were excluded from sports opportunities," he said.

Brutus said being inducted into a Sports Hall of Fame was an honour but the hall should not ignore the fact that some sports people defended, supported and legitimised apartheid.

"There are, indeed, some famous South Africans who still belong in a sports hall of infamy," he said.

"They think they are sports heroes, without understanding - and making amends for - the context in which they became so heroic," he said.

Brutus said it was incompatible to have those who championed racist sport alongside its genuine victims.

The SA Sports Hall of Fame inducted 34 sports personalities at Emperor's Palace in Johannesburg on Wednesday evening.

Brutus was an activist against the apartheid government in the 1960s and worked tirelessly to have South Africa suspended from the Olympics.

His activism eventually led to the country's expulsion from the games in 1970. - Sapa

X