Open Letter to WADA to enable the Springboks and Proteas to continue using our national anthem and flag

Issued by Solly Malatsi MP – DA National Spokesperson
10 Oct 2023 in News

In a letter addressed to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the DA formally communicates its concerns regarding the continued non-compliance of the National Anti-Doping Organizations of South Africa with the latest World Anti-Doping Code, which came into effect in January 2021. Please see the letter below:

To the Compliance Review Committee

Re: Consequences of non-compliance for National Anti-Doping Organizations of South Africa 1.

Dear sir/madam

I write to this Committee in my capacity as a Member of the Parliament of South Africa and on behalf of the Democratic Alliance (DA), the Official Opposition in Parliament.

I refer to the above matter and to your communication on the World Anti-Doping (WADA) website, dated 28 September 2023, in which you state that South Africa will face a number of consequences due to the government’s failure to adequately adopt the latest International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories (the Code).

The Code was approved by the WADA Executive Committee at the World Conference on Doping in Sport in Katowice on 7 November 2019 and is effective as of 1 January 2021. The Government of South Africa, led by the ruling African National Congress (ANC), has continuously failed to implement the Code despite repeated warnings in Parliament by the DA.

It has shown a complete lack of accountability and respectfully, failed in their duties to ensure proper compliance in sports when it comes to anti-doping matters.

The purpose of this letter, in my capacity as a law maker in Parliament, is to request an extension of time to comply with the requirement of implementing the Code in national legislation. As you would be aware, the legislative process is thorough and slow, with due process and public participation being a cornerstone.

It is thus impossible to amend legislation to give effect to the Code before the deadline of 14 October 2023. However, we request an indulgence from the Compliance Review Committee to allow South Africa a further 4 months, until 22 January 2024, to ensure that our legislation is in line with the Code.

The ruling ANC government has failed to table any legislation to give effect to the Code, which is why, the DA, as the official opposition in Parliament, will table its own legislation to ensure compliance with WADA requirements.

Accordingly, we ask for the 4-month extension, as was given to four other National Anti-Doping Organisations, in order to correct our compliance.

This request is reasonable and would comply with the requirements of Article 8.4.5 of the ISCCS in that: “…if the Signatory has provided a Corrective Action Plan that explains to the satisfaction of the CRC how the Signatory will correct the non-Conformities within four (4) months, then the CRC may recommend to WADA’s Executive Committee that it decide (a) to give the Signatory that period (starting to run from the date of the Executive Committee’s decision) to correct the nonconformities…”.

It is our submission that a clear action plan has been provided to yourselves on how the issue of non-compliance will be corrected and that it will be the Official Opposition in Parliament that will now take the lead to ensure the Code is incorporated into our legislation.

I pause to emphasise that should our request not be allowed, South Africa, as a sporting nation, will suffer extreme prejudice as we are currently in the midst of both a Rugby and Cricket World Cup, where millions of our citizens are patriotically supporting our teams.

It would be a tragedy if our National Anthem and National Flag were not allowed to be on display.

Given the above, and given the extreme urgency of this issue, I trust that you find the above in order and I eagerly await your response.

Yours Faithfully

Solly Malatsi

DA National Spokesperson

Member of Parliament

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