DA challenges Minister of Sport to clarify confusion over proposed provisions to National Sports Act
28 January 2009DONALD LEE, MP
DA SPOKESPERSON ON SPORT
The Democratic Alliance (DA) challenges the Minister of Sport and Recreation, Rev. Makhenkhesi Stofile, to clarify the confusion emanating from his silence on the status of the additions to the National Sport Act, which were proposed by his department and sent out to national sport bodies.
The department's proposed provisions have severe implications for sport in South Africa, as they give the Minister power to interfere with national team selections, in stark contrast with international sports best-practice. This could lead to our national sports bodies being expelled from international sport federations due to direct political interference in sport. Some of the proposed provisions include that:
- Foreign coaches must have previously coached a national team for at least five years to be eligible to coach a South African national team.
National teams need to be chosen at least 30 days before any international competition and sent to the Minister for approval.
The Minister has the sole right to award national colours, take them away or refuse them.
Reports today allege that the Ministry of Sport has withdrawn these provisions. Yet the department has not made an official announcement on the matter. It is essential that the Minister set the record straight about whether he has indeed withdrawn these proposals or not, in order to stop the confusion currently underway.
The DA will lobby the sports community to put pressure on the Minister to withdraw these dictatorial provisions. South Africa has come a long way to overcome the devastating consequences of political meddling in sport and we cannot go back down that road again.