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02 Sep 2015 14:58
The court case would have added to the pressure on SA coach Heyneke Meyer after three defeats in the Rugby Championship took the Springboks out of the top three in the world rankings. (Getty)
A court bid to stop the Springboks from leaving South Africa to compete in the Rugby World Cup was abandoned in the Pretoria high court on Wednesday.
Judge Ntendeya Mavundla stood the matter down for the parties to have a discussion about transformation in rugby – one that would involve the broader community.
This would enable the applicants to reflect and for other interested parties to engage “so that this issue of transformation would then be ventilated”.
This meant the applicant, Tshidiso Mokhoanatse and his Agency for New Agenda political party, would no longer seek a court order to stop the Springboks from leaving the country.
He had argued that Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula and the South African Rugby Union had failed in the constitutional duty to ensure the Springbok team reflected South Africa’s demographics.
But the debate about transformation must be sped up as people are losing patience, the judge hearing the “rugby case” said.
“We need to hurry up. We need to move with determination, focus, so that there is less turbulence,” said Mavundla.
“The matters of transformation have got that potential of people losing patience.
You can already see at the University of Stellenbosch.”
The matter was of national interest and the court was “highly sensitive” to this, he said.
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