Minister populist Razzmatazz
Sandile Gumede via email
We’ve had all kinds of ministers of sport with different approaches and personalities, but no one came close to Fikile “Razzmatazz” Mbalula. There’s never a dull moment with Mbalula.
Since he became a deputy minister of police in 2009, Mbalula had made a series of harsh statements.
After an incident in Johannesburg, where cops accidentally shot a baby in the back seat of a car, thinking it was a criminal, Mbalula said: “Shoot the bastards. Obvious innocent people will die, not deliberately but in the exchange of the fire power.”
To my mind that was a reckless statement from a person of Mbalula’s stature. In a statement in 2014 after Bafana Bafana crashed out of Afcon, he called the team “a bunch of losers”. This showed that Mbalula is just a populist minister.
Recently, he announced that the government was cutting ties with the sporting codes that were resistant to transformation, especially rugby and cricket.
The million-dollar question is: will it really help or is it going to push blacks further out of these sports? What has Mbalula done to find a remedy for this problem?
The reality is that the so-called black sports are struggling financially. Do you blame transformation for that?
Since the closure of the Transnet School of Excellence, which produced lots of good talent – Steven Pienaar among others – our national teams are not doing well.
The big question is: what is it that Mbalula is doing to make sure the national teams are performing?
What is it that the minister is doing to make sure the so-called elite sport is integrated into the school curriculum especially for townships and rural schools?
Perhaps the Razzmatazz will agree with me that transformation is not the only problem, but the tip of an iceberg. More than 90% of the Bafana players are black but the results are not forthcoming.
As much as Cricket SA and Saru need to shoulder some responsibility for transformation, or lack thereof, government also has a huge role to play. And Mbalula must act decisively and stop being a populist minister.