I was right, whitey was nowhere to be seen in Mafikeng

Last week an irate reader harangued me for questioning the patriotism of the multitudes of Manchester United supporters who sprang from nowhere during a recent tournament involving two of our best teams.

Last week an irate reader harangued me for questioning the patriotism of the multitudes of Manchester United supporters who sprang from nowhere during a recent tournament involving two of our best teams.

Anele Bhengane of Mariannhill described reader Maggie Hoskins and I as narrow-minded. This after we independently lamented that instead of rooting for Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs in Cape Town and Pretoria, the United supporters had actually turned their backs on their own.

Of course, Bhengane has the freedom of choice, and to express it, he says: "I am proudly South African but I have no time to root for useless teams."

She misses the point, though.

I am happy to say I have been vindicated. Last weekend one of the biggest yearly soccer tournaments took place in Mafikeng, where the two teams slugged it out with the other great sides, Mamelodi Sundowns and Platinum Stars.

I will not say much about the merits of the games except to emphasise what I initially said last week: where is the loyalty of those, especially the whites, who shouted themselves hoarse for a foreign club?

It is true that in South Africa the majority of blacks are soccer mad and whites are rugby and cricket crazy.

How many times have we seen blacks, many of whom cannot differentiate between a scrum-half and wing, run up and down the streets of Mabopane when the Springboks have won? I for one have been trying since South Africa was readmitted to the international sports arena to learn about a wicket. But, if at the end of a test or is it a game, the Proteas have won I cheer loudly.

Back to Mafikeng!

The tournament at Mmabatho Stadium was the yearly Telkom Charity Cup spectacular. The significance of this day and its events is to raise funds for charity.

Lexically, charity is giving help, money, food ... to those in need. It's also described as love of one's fellow man.

On Saturday the stadium was indeed packed to the rafters. The mood was festive. South Africans had shown their love of their fellow people in need.

Soccer lovers had converged on the North West town in droves, in their hundreds of thousands.

It was as though they were at the opening match of the Fifa World Cup.

I watched the spectacle from the comfort of my couch on TV, though.

What I saw was a sea of happy faces that egged on their favourite teams .

I looked closer as the cameras zoomed in on the cheering fanatics.

I have to warn you that I have a mighty big screen in my lounge.

But I still leaned forward in search of my gems, particularly during the final match between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs.

I am afraid my search was not so successful. Save for the regular, only two white fans - one in Chiefs colours and the other in Pirates' black-and-white - there were 23 other white people in the stadium.

I might be wrong because from where I was sitting I could not see inside the suites.

The 23, a colleague covering the games says, were there to offer various services such as security, emergency and catering.

So, I ask again: where were the multitudes who cheered Manchester United when their fellow men in need beckoned for their help last week?

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