Category Archives: Sports

Proteas legend Jonty Rhodes admits benefitting from 'white privilege' in selection

Proteas legend Jonty Rhodes has said white privilege helped him secure his first selection into South Africa’s national cricket team.

In an interview with Indian publication The Hindu over the weekend, Rhodes said as a white cricketer growing up during apartheid, he only had to compete with a limited section of South Africa’s population at the time.

He explained, “You talk about white privilege and it raises a lot of heat and debate on social media but it is the case. I’m very aware of that. My cricketing statistics as a player were very average when I was selected.

‘I wouldn’t have been picked’

Rhodes added, “If I was competing with the rest of the country then possibly I wouldn’t have been picked. And I would not have been diving around the field.”

Transformation in cricket was brought to the fore again earlier this month when batsman Temba Bavuma was omitted from the Proteas squad against England in the second Test.

Although Bavuma and all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo have been recalled to the squad for the fourth Test, premier fast bowler Kagiso Rabada has been suspended.

Cricket South Africa’s transformation targets require the fielding of six players of colour, including at least two black Africans.

Opportunities in disadvantaged communities

Rhodes, who is widely regarded as one of cricket’s best fielders ever, lamented that equal opportunities are not accorded to disadvantaged communities.

He said, “The biggest question for me is why in over 20 years have we not produced opportunities for young players in disadvantaged communities? It’s not about racism. It’s about equal opportunity and that’s not happening.”

This has resulted in the absence of a large pool of talented black players on the domestic cricket scene, he explained.

Rhodes added that the cricket fraternity could learn from the way rugby administrators have built structures in disadvantaged areas.

According to him, South Africa’s democratic transition resulted in political freedom, but not economic freedom, in such areas.

In their series against England, the Proteas won the first Test convincingly, but struggled in the second and third Tests. They lost the third Test by an embarrassing innings and 53 runs.

The fourth Test is set to begin on Friday in Johannesburg.

It’s official: Patrice Motsepe, Johann Rupert now own 74% of Blue Bulls

Billionaires Patrice Motsepe and Johann Rupert now own 74% of Blue Bulls Company, which owns the Pretoria-based rugby franchise Blue Bulls.

Motsepe’s African Rainbow Capital and Rupert’s Remgro each own 37% while the Blue Bulls Rugby Union (BBRU) now owns the remaining 26%, according to an update on the club’s website on Friday.

The much-anticipated deal was reached during a meeting at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Thursday evening.

‘Privileged to have Motsepe’

Previously, Remgro and BBRU each owned 50% of the franchise. This means that they reduced their respective shares to allow a buy-in from Motsepe.

BBRU president Willem Strauss welcomed the deal, “We put a lot of effort into making this possible over the last few months, and I am proud to say that all the union committee members unanimously voted in favour of the deal.

“I firmly believe that private investors will add immense value to our beautiful game going forward. We are privileged and excited to have partners like Mr Motsepe in our corner.”

Motsepe is understood to have sought ownership of Blue Bulls to streamline its brand with that of Mamelodi Sundowns.

Second franchise controlled by private investors

Mamelodi Sundowns already play many of their home games at Loftus Versfeld, the Blue Bulls’ home ground.

In 2018, the colours of the Blue Bulls’ Super Rugby away jersey also matched those of Mamelodi Sundowns.

The deal means that Blue Bulls becomes South Africa’s second rugby franchise to be controlled by private investors. The first is Southern Kings.

Blue Bulls Company CEO Alfons Meyer was upbeat about the future of the franchise and its contribution to Pretoria’s communities.

He said, “I look forward to a host of synergies and opportunities that will be forged between us.

“With Mr Motsepe also owning soccer giants Mamelodi Sundowns, there is no doubt that a relationship like this will further enhance and entrench our vision to make Tshwane the sporting capital.”

Exclusive Books’ bid to promote unauthorised Siya Kolisi biography backfires

A bid by Exclusive Books to promote an unauthorised biography of Springboks captain Siya Kolisi on Twitter has seemingly backfired.

On Monday, the bookseller posted a tweet that appeared to cash in on Kolisi’s wave of publicity fresh from winning the Rugby World Cup over the weekend.

It offered to give away copies of Siya Kolisi: Against All Odds to three Twitter users from among those who shared what they thought of the Rugby World Cup final.

Tweet deleted

“We are giving away 3 copies of Siya Kolisi: Against All Odds. To enter, let us know what you thought of the Rugby World Cup Final, using just emoji’s!” the tweet read. It has since been deleted.

Image credit: Twitter/Exclusive Books

The book was released nationwide in September by Jonathan Ball Publishers and is authored by Jeremy Daniel.

It tells Kolisi’s inspiring story from his humble beginnings in the small Eastern Cape town of Zwide, his rise to the Boks captaincy as well as his marriage to Rachel Kolisi.

‘No approval from Kolisi’

However, before the book’s release, Kolisi took to Instagram in August to distance himself from it.

He wrote, “To end the confusion: The book published about me with my name on the cover wasn’t written by me or produced with my approval or even knowledge.”

Twitter users were quick to remind Exclusive Books that Kolisi never approved of the biography.

Twitter user Kananelo replied, “I think you should withdraw this opportunistic competition and find another way to celebrate our win.”

Graeme Mkhalimi added, “What you’re doing is not charity. What you’re doing is disingenuous promo of this book (which Siya didn’t approve) stacked in your store shelves. You want to make a quick profit out of this man who is the centre of Sports conversation. We don’t want this book… take it down.”

Although Exclusive Books eventually deleted the promotional tweet, some still demanded an apology.

@QueenWordsmith tagged Exclusive Books and tweeted, “Heyi wena come back here and issue an apology for your tweet and not just delete it…”

‘We refuse unity without equality:’ Ndlozi insists – and earns Malema’s support

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) spokesperson Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi has continued posting controversial tweets about the Springboks’ World Cup win.

On Monday, Ndlozi fired off several posts justifying his non-celebration of the historic triumph, insisting that there can be no unity without equality.

He wrote, “We are pushing against all efforts to pull a 1994/1996 on us AGAIN. We will not take the sleeping tablets of Rugby euphoria AGAIN. We will be better than our parents; we choose to feel the PAINFUL TRUTH of our wretched conditions. WE REFUSE UNITY WITHOUT EQUALITY AND THE LAND.”

‘Black excellence, not racial unity’

In another tweet, Ndlozi said, “What is apartheid; a system in which the white minority creates conditions that make the black majority satisfy themselves of being a minority.

“Careful because some blacks actually enjoy being the “only” blacks on top; the minority on top – it’s called the house n***** syndrome!”

The controversial member of parliament wasn’t done. In yet another post, he reminded his followers that South Africa remains the most unequal country in the world.

“We call this #BlackExcellence, NOT RACIAL UNITY. Because we recognise that Siya lifts a trophy for the most unequal nation in the world. A place where the white minority lives every day from the exploitation of blacks. He is part of this reality even as he lifts this trophy!” he wrote.

Julius Malema supports

EFF leader Julius Malema expressed support for Ndlozi, tweeting, “I don’t know why @MbuyiseniNdlozi is trending but I agree with him.”

Ndlozi kicked off a social media furore on Saturday with a series of tweets that were seemingly aimed at dampening the euphoria after the Springboks’ win.

His tweet congratulating captain Siya Kolisi only and “the rest go get your congratulations from Prince Harry” particularly drew condemnation from Twitter users.

Speaking to Jacaranda FM, Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader John Steenhuisen said Ndlozi was “upset” at the sight of South Africans of all races “pulling together.”

He said, “I think what gives the parties like the EFF and people like Mr Ndlozi chest pains is when they see South Africans of all cultures, all races, celebrating something together.”

However, others came to Ndlozi’s defence. Twitter user @UnmovedLee wrote, “I love nonconformists. Only dead fish go with the flow. I like those who swim against the current.

“I’m not EFF by mistake. Agitate. Upset the establishment. Revise the narrative. Write a different story. Stand away from the crowds.”

Panyaza Lesufi apologises for suggesting Boks fan adorned apartheid flag

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has apologised for suggesting that a Springboks fan had adorned the apartheid flag during South Africa’s World Cup semifinal game against Wales on Sunday.

Lesufi tweeted a photo earlier on Sunday showing the fan with the South African flag draped around his shoulders.

From the angle of the image, a section of the flag appeared to show the colours orange, white and blue. This led Lesufi to mistakenly assume that it was the apartheid flag.

He wrote, “That flag, unfortunately, is spoiling it! This team @Springboks belongs to all of us. Let’s avoid hurting each other unnecessarily. #StrongerTogether.”

‘Sincere apologies’

However, many of his followers pointed out that he had got it wrong. Some shared other photos and videos to prove that the fan had adorned the current South African flag.

A few hours later, Lesufi acknowledged his mistake and tweeted, “Sincere apologies fellow South Africans; the initial angle was completely wrong!

“Let’s celebrate the team’s win @Springboks. Forward with social cohesion. We are better together than divided! Apartheid flag divides South African flag unites! Slaan hulle die volgende week!”

He accompanied his apology with images that confirmed that he had indeed got it wrong.

Mzwandile Masina deletes tweet

Ekurhuleni Mayor Mzwandile Masina was apparently the first to tweet the image and express his “outrage.”

He wrote, “More reasons I have no business in supporting this team, which some supporters still carry old apartheid flag.

“Shame on this barbaric display of this apartheid flag when democracy has embraced all South Africans [sic].”

Masina has since deleted the image. Unlike Lesufi, however, he has not yet issued an apology.

The Springboks advanced to the final of the Rugby World Cup after defeating Wales 19-16.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has indicated that he will travel to Japan to support the team in the final against England on 2 November.

Mapimpi explains video that apparently shows him being sidelined from huddle

Rugby star Makazole Mapimpi has dispelled concerns of racism in the Springboks squad sparked by viral videos on social media.

The clips were taken soon after South Africa’s game against Italy at the Rugby World Cup on Friday.

They show a group of Boks players huddling together as Mampimpi approached. However, Mapimpi appeared to realise something before turning away from the group hug.

For some fans on social media, this suggested that the players huddling together were sidelining Mapimpi.

‘Players from the bench’

In a video he posted on Instagram on Saturday, Mapimpi explained that he wasn’t being sidelined at all.

He said the players seen in the huddle are usually introduced into the game from the bench and therefore have “their own thing going on” to motivate each other.

The star player said this group of players is known as the “bomb squad.”

As he was approaching them, he realised that they were motivating each other as usual after a game and he didn’t want to intrude, he added.

Mapimpi said this is the only reason he turned away, adding that there is nothing wrong in the Springboks squad as has been suggested on social media.

Fans react

Some fans were however still sceptical even after Mapimpi’s explanation. Instagram user thabiso_star23 replied, “I don’t buy this story. You won as collective so you have to celebrate as a collective.”

However, others such as former Generations actor Sidwell Ngwenya accepted Mapimpi’s account of what had transpired.

He tweeted, “So the dudes on the bench are called the ‘bomb squad?’ You learn something new everyday. Mapimpi has clarified everything. Let’s enjoy some rugby…”

Hopefully, South Africa will continue to rally behind the Boks as they face Canada in their final Group B game on Tuesday for a spot in the quarter finals.

Proteas go wicketless on rain-curtailed 1st day of India Test

The Proteas went wicketless on day one of the first Test against India at Visakhapatnam on Wednesday.

Rain and bad light brought a halt to play in the second session with India comfortable at 202 without loss.

The rain failed to subside, forcing stumps with just 59.1 overs bowled.

India’s openers comfortable

India won the toss and elected to bat. Openers Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal exercised patience against South Africa’s seamers Kagiso Rabada and Vernon Philander.

However, they scored freely against the spinning trio of Keshav Maharaj, Dane Piedt and debutant Senuran Muthusamy.

The latter two were especially expensive, returning economy rates of 6.14 and 4.60 respectively.

This forced captain Fas du Plessis to rely heavily on Maharaj, who sent down 23 overs compared to seven by Piedt and five by Muthusamy.

Sharma continued his impressive home form, cruising to 115 not out with a strike rate of 66 percent.

Agarwak was more circumspect, but reached 84 not out.

Work for South Africa

South Africa have their work cut out on day two if they are to make this Test competitive.

India have a formidable home record over the past few years, especially after winning the toss and batting first.

Proteas great Dale Steyn tweeted his concern as the bowlers toiled. He wrote, “Gotta think outside the box here.”

India vs South Africa Test: teams

South African team: Aiden Makram, Dean Elgar, Theunis de Bruyn, Temba Bavuma, Faf du Plessis (C), Quinton de Kock (wk), Vernon Philander, Senuram Muthusamy, Keshav Maharaj, Dane Piedt, and Kagiso Rabada.

Indian team: Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, and Mohammed Shami.

‘Hayibo Lion of Judah:’ Percy Tau’s Club Brugge is winning over Mzansi Twitter

South Africa’s soccer star Percy Tau has won Belgian side Club Brugge a legion of Mzansi fans and it’s making the most of it.

Club Brugge’s Twitter account used some South African words in its tweets on Wednesday, much to the delight of local fans.

In the first one, it retweeted SuperSport’s video showcasing Tau’s talent during his days at Mamelodi Sundowns.

The club accompanied it with the caption, “HAYIBO Lion of Judah! This is Champions League Quality!”

In reply, Mamelodi Sundowns tweeted, “We created this!” This prompted Club Brugge to also reply, “Siyabulela guys!”

Fans applaud

Mzansi fans couldn’t hold back their delight at Club Brugge’s inspired tweets.

Twitter user Magasela Mzobe replied, “Because of this tweet, I just officially started supporting Brugge KV. Pls advise when can I buy my team’s shirt.”

@zweliblack added, “I’m glad Club Brugge decided to hire a South African Admin for Twitter. Admin you one of us now.”

“Club Brugge is wildin. This admin is learning real fast. We Are The Brugges,” replied @SQ_Myeza.

Club Brugge vs Galatasaray

Percy Tau’s Club Brugge is set to face Galatasaray in their UEFA Champions League Group A clash in Belgium later on Wednesday.

Kickoff is at 18h55 South African time and local fans are already setting their reminders.

With Paris St. Germain and Real Madrid also in it, Group A is a difficult one for Club Brugge.

However, fans will be on the lookout for Tau’s performance – and South Africa is rallying fully behind him.

Another setback for Bafana as Madagascar withdraws from friendly

Madagascar has withdrawn from Saturday’s friendly with Bafana Bafana, according to the South African Football Association (SAFA).

SAFA made the announcement in a tweet posted on Thursday afternoon.

SAFA regrets to inform the public that the match between Bafana Bafana and Madagascar scheduled for this coming Saturday (7 September) has been called off after the visitors (Madagascar) decided to withdraw from the encounter.


The national soccer governing body did not immediately provide a reason for Madagascar’s withdrawal.

Free entry

Just an hour before the announcement, Bafana Bafana were in training at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto.

Earlier on Thursday, SAFA announced free entry to the friendly “due to late notice of game preps.”

The sudden nature of Madagascar’s withdrawal has therefore seemingly caught SAFA by surprise.

Madagascar was Zambia’s replacement

Madagascar agreed to play Bafana Bafana following Zambia’s withdrawal earlier this week.

In a statement, the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) cited the “prevailing security concerns in South Africa” as the reason.

The match had been scheduled for Saturday as well. Interestingly, it was to be played in Zambia’s capital Lusaka, not South Africa.

Many have interpreted the withdrawal as a sign of Zambia’s displeasure at the targeting of foreign-owned shops across Gauteng this week.

Bafana to play Madagascar after Zambia pulls out citing SA’s ‘security concerns’

Bafana Bafana is set to play Madagascar in a friendly match on Saturday at Orlando Stadium, Johannesburg. Kick off will be at 19h00.

The South African Football Association (SAFA) made the announcement on Wednesday morning via social media.

Zambia pulls out

The decision to play Madagascar comes less than a day after Zambia pulled out of their scheduled friendly against Bafana Bafana.

In a statement, the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) cited the “prevailing security concerns in South Africa” as the reason.

The match had been scheduled for Saturday as well. Interestingly, it was to be played in Zambia’s capital Lusaka, not South Africa.

Many have interpreted the withdrawal as a sign of Zambia’s displeasure at the targeting of foreign-owned shops across Gauteng over the past several days.

Primary issue is criminality – Cele

However, Police Minister Bheki Cele has emphasised that while some may have anti-immigrant sentiments, the primary issue is criminality.

Speaking to SABC News on Wednesday morning, Cele pointed out that even retail stores owned by South African nationals have been looted.

I went to the streets where this thing started. There was a string of shops that were looted and burned. Among them were Shoprite, Usave, Pep – which are all South African shops.

Bheki Cele

Social media reacts

Soccer fans on social media have reacted to the cancellation of the Zambia friendly and announcement of Madagascar as the replacement.

Some admonished Zambia for its decision. Twitter user @francondloves tweeted, “Zambia should not have boycotted this game because sports should unite us.”

Others welcomed the new friendly. They argued that, given their most recent form, Madagascar could pose a fascinating challenge for Bafana Bafana.

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