/ 10 October 2008

ANC throws weight behind Bok emblem

The African National Congress (ANC) came out strongly in support of the Springbok emblem on Friday, saying it did not want to see it replaced.

”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,” ANC spokesperson Jessie Duarte said.

”We would also like to encourage our world-acclaimed sportsmen to continue winning more world cups for South Africa and not be detracted by debates on the future of the Springbok emblem.”

She was responding to discussions at the National Sports Indaba in Durban on Thursday, where sports portfolio committee chairperson Butana Komphela told delegates that the Springbok emblem divided the country.

”The Springbok divides us. We have a responsibility to unite our country on one national emblem,” Komphela said.

”Minister, I want you to observe the arrogance of white people on the Springbok emblem,” he said.

Komphela said that there could be ”no negotiation” on replacing the Springbok emblem.

However, Sports and Recreation Minister Makhenkesi Stofile said: ”My view is that emblems are not matters of life and death.”

He added, however, that there should be one national emblem that all sporting codes would endorse.

The Democratic Alliance (DA), meanwhile, said it saw no need to scrap the Springbok emblem.

”Everybody in the country, including those who are not necessarily rugby fans, identifies with this emblem. Every emerging rugby player aspires to be part of the Springbok legacy,” said DA spokesperson Donald

”The emblem is a symbol of excellence, pride and passion. It has been with us through two Rugby World Cup victories, and it epitomises the pursuit of excellence, not only in rugby, but sport in the country.” — Sapa